CHINA> Regional
Police involved in Feb 29 shooting suspended
By Lan Tian (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-10-31 09:58

A senior police officer, who ordered the fatal shooting of a civilian in Jiangxi province on Feb 29, has been suspended pending a new investigation into the case, the local prosecutors' office said Thursday.

Wang Haiquan, deputy chief of Poyang county police, which is under the jurisdiction of Shangrao, ordered one of his officers to shoot Chen Zhenyi as he was fleeing from a group of men who had earlier attacked him.

According to police records, Wang believed at the time that Chen, a 26-year-old employee of a road company, was high on drugs and posed a threat to police and the public.

The dead man's father, Chen Weimin, told China Daily Thursday that on the day of the shooting, his son was on vacation in Poyang.

While he was in his hotel room, a group of unidentified men broke in and began attacking him, he said.

Chen escaped and ran into the street almost naked.

On his way to hospital he made several phone calls to his mother to tell her what had happened.

He also called the police 11 times but received no reply, Chen Weimin said.

While at the hospital, Chen became convinced his attackers were still chasing him, so he again fled, his father said.

As he ran through a market, he grabbed two knives from a butcher's stall with which to defend himself, Chen Weimin said.

In the meantime, a passerby had called the police, who arrived soon after.

On April 16, Poyang police released the results of its investigation, which claimed Chen was hallucinating after taking drugs and had attacked a policeman with a knife.

Chen was told to drop the knives but he refused, which was when Wang ordered another officer to open fire, the report said.

"I know my son never took drugs. The findings of the investigation are unreasonable," Chen Weimin said.

"My son has been dead for eight months, and I hope the provincial government will give us a satisfactory explanation soon," he said.

Following the publication of the police findings in April, Chen's family made several complaints to local authorities.

In July, a team of investigators from the central government was made aware of them and ordered the case to be reopened.

An anonymous official from the Shangrao people's procuratorate Thursday confirmed Wang had been suspended from the post, but refused to give any details of the ongoing investigation.