Kunshan findings uphold law, not a bow to public opinion
After five days, the local police in Kunshan have announced the results of the investigation into the case of Yu Haiming, who, after being attacked and wounded by drunken driver Liu Hailong with a knife on Monday evening, fought back and killed his assailant. The police concluded that Yu's actions were "justifiable self-defense".
Surveillance video footage shows a BMW driven by Liu pulling into the bicycle lane to make a turn at some traffic lights and knocking Yu off his motorbike. During their subsequent altercation, Liu grabs a large knife from his car and attacks Yu. But he stumbles, and when the weapon falls from his hand and Yu is able to seize it and turn the tables on him
Posted on its public WeChat public account, the release by the local police was read millions of times. However, although public sympathy sided with Yu, it is wrong to treat this case as merely a "victory of public opinion". The local police and procuratorate have explained, in detail, how they investigated the incident: How did it begin? How many times did Liu stab Yu when he attacked him with the knife? How many times did Yu stab back when he managed to seize the knife when Liu dropped it while stumbling? Which wounds caused Liu's death? All these questions have clear and unambiguous answers.
In each of the steps, the local police and procuratorate strictly followed the law. They never sought to please public opinion.
Actually, the more attention the case received, the more cautious the police and procuratorate will be. It is wrong to believe the police will bend the law to suit public sentiment. Thus it is more proper to call the Kunshan case a victory for the rule of law which aligned with public demand for public order. The judiciary has interacted positively with the public, while the law has been strictly upheld.
It is also "a victory" because the local police and procuratorate have communicated the findings of their investigation and the reasoning behind their decision. They have also clearly explained which legal clauses apply to the case, and also made clear the background information of the persons involved, thus preventing rumors from spreading.
According to the law, the police and procuratorate are responsible for not only enforcing the law, but also enhancing sense of rule of law among the public. They have honored both duties in this case.
We hope the judiciary will be equally strict in following the law when dealing with other cases that do not have such strong attention from society.