China / Society

Autopsy of man held by police completed

By Zhang Yi (China Daily) Updated: 2016-05-17 08:04

Results expected to be released within 20 days, expert who witnessed exam says Results of an independent autopsy of a 29-year-old man who died after being taken into police custody earlier this month is expected to be released within 15 or 20 days of the examination, according to an expert who witnessed it.

Zhang Huiqin, a forensic medical expert at People's Public Security University of China, was asked by the family of the dead man, Lei Yang, to witness the autopsy. The examination was carried out on Friday and lasted more than 10 hours, concluding at about 2 am on Saturday, Zhang said.

Lei, a new father and a postgraduate at Renmin University of China, was held by plainclothes police officers on May 7 in Beijing's Changping district for allegedly soliciting prostitution at a foot massage shop. He died within two hours after being detained.

Beijing Mingzheng Forensic Identification Center conducted the autopsy. The center, which was founded in 2007, is located at Peking University Health Science Center and describes itself on its website as a nongovernment lab recognized by more than 60 countries and territories.

"A lot of work is ahead, including toxicological and pathological tests. I've done a lot of autopsies in my life, and this is the longest and most thorough one I've ever witnessed," Zhang said. "The family entrusted the work to me and society believes in me. I won't let them down."

The entire process was witnessed by medical experts, lawyers and prosecutors. Changping police officers were excluded from the autopsy to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

Lei's death has raised public concerns over the degree of force used by police officers in detaining Lei, as well as questions about how quickly the family was notified after he died and the amount of information provided.

Lei was detained at 9:14 pm, the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau said. According to the police account, Lei resisted arrest, and several officers were needed to restrain him.

Lei left home between 8:30 and 9 pm to meet relatives at Beijing Capital International Airport, his wife said.

En route to the police station with Lei in his car, officer Xing Yongrui said he noticed Lei had "stopped resisting and was very quiet". He took the man to a hospital, arriving at 10:05 pm. Lei was pronounced dead at 10:55 pm.

Xing said no excessive force was used.

Police said that DNA collected from a condom at the scene matched Lei, and that statements from other suspects, including a woman who allegedly provided sex to Lei, supported their suspicions.

Lei's wife made more than 40 phone calls to her husband after he failed to meet the relatives as planned. She said she was not told about Lei's death until about 1 am. The police said they had difficulty identifying him.

Autopsy of man held by police completed

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