On September 1 videos circulated online showing a police officer in Shanghai throwing to the ground a woman who was holding a baby in her arms. The video sparked angry reactions among Chinese netizens.
According to reports, at around 10:30 a.m. an altercation occurred between a woman and traffic police who were conducting routine traffic checks on parking lots in Shanghai’s Songjiang District. The woman had reportedly parked her car in violation of the law, and was obstructing the police in executing their duties.
In the video the woman is seen pushing a police officer, who reacted by throwing her to the ground, despite the fact that she was holding a baby in her arms. The baby fell onto the pavement. Passers-by immediately rushed to help the baby, as two policemen subdued the woman.
Some onlookers argued with the police. When officers realized that people were filming the scene with their phones, they warned them to stop recording. “Don’t film,” they said. “Whoever keeps filming will be taken to the police station.”
The Shanghai Songjiang District Police stated that the female driver attempted to violently obstruct the police in executing their law enforcement duties, but that one of the police officers had neglected the safety of the baby whom the woman was holding in her arms.
After the incident the woman and the child were immediately taken to a hospital. While the police are investigating the matter, the police officer who assaulted the woman has been suspended.
Chinese netizens’ reactions with regard to the police’s actions have been mostly negative.
“Is the police’s fist aimed at the people?”, wrote a Chinese netizen. “My post [about the incident] has already been deleted before, why? We can’t talk about it?”
“If something like that happens, the traffic police should first collect evidence … call the public security for assistance and maintain order. The traffic police should have waited for public security officers to arrive at the site of the incident. They would have brought the situation under control and issued a fine or detained the woman according to the circumstances,” another netizen said.
Chinese state media condemned the police’s use of force, although they also put blame on the woman’s behaviour. “The law enforcement actions of the policeman were violent and contravened relevant regulations,” a lawyer interviewed by state news outlets said.
Shanghai Public Security Bureau stated that the policeman’s behaviour was “a mistake”.
Support this website
If you want to support our website, you may want to take a look at our literary translations. Currently available are: