A policeman in Luoyang has been suspended from his post for allegedly beating and detaining a local journalist, local police said yesterday.
Wang Zhigang, a senior officer from the Xibeiyu police station in Luoyang, Henan province, has been put under investigation.
Journalist Zhang Jinxing from Luoyang Broadcasting News said he was recording a car accident with his camera on Sunday night when several policemen stopped him, took his camera away and began to beat him.
He and his friend were then taken to the station and handcuffed for nearly 10 hours.
However, a police report yesterday said Zhang was fighting with a taxi driver who refused to have photos taken that night, and even beat a policeman named Wang Jianwei who tried to stop him.
Then Zhang's friend, Tian Yichen, beat Wang Zhigang when more policemen reached the spot, said the report.
"It is not a case of violence where police illegally beat a journalist," Wang's colleague, surnamed Tian, told China Daily yesterday.
"We just detained two drunk people who didn't behave and quarreled with a taxi driver when police tried to keep order at the scene," he said. "We have handed our local procuratorate a video tape that recorded what happened that night," he said.
But he said police didn't perform an alcohol test to show the journalist was drunk, as "only traffic police have the right to test a driver".
A video clip released online yesterday showed several police kicking the journalist on the street as people stood around and watched.
"That must be a video recorded by the journalist's friend - and they cut off the first part to mislead people," the police said.
The complete video has not been provided to the public or the media as the case is still under investigation, he said.
"The report lies! I enjoyed some beer with my friend but I wasn't drunk," Zhang said yesterday.
"I took pictures and interviewed traffic police for more than 10 minutes before the police snatched my camera," he recalled. "The real scandal was no one told me where and why I was illegally locked up for the whole night."