Among China’s numerous law enforcement ranks, Chengguan (城管: The City Urban Administrative and Law Enforcement Bureau) is perhaps the most feared and despised for their brutality and total disregard of the laws. Google "Chengguan" and thousands of news concerning this law enforcement branch pop up. Thought no longer surprised by news on Chengguan violence, Chinese public are still furious about them. Lately a viral video of a Chengguan squad in Henan province attacking a police officer has caused a stir on the Internet.
On Oct. 27th, when a Chengguan squad in Zhumadian County in Henan was tearing down a residential building by force, they came into conflict with the owners. More than 20 Chengguan officers started to attack the elderly owner of the house. Seeing this, the neighbors called police.
When police officer Zhang Qia arrived at the scene, he tried to stop the Chengguan from beating this elderly owner who was shoved by the Chengguan on the ground. Despite Zhang arriving with his police car in his police uniform and revealing his identity, the Chengguan didn’t stop their violence and even turned on Zhang Qia. They cornered Zhang, pushed and shoved him. When Zhang tried to escape, Chengguan kept chasing after him and even ‘arrested’ the police officer and brought him in the car to take him to the police station. When the Chengguan arrived at the local police station, they asked the police commissioner to "straighten things out". Things got completely out of control until the crime squad arrived and had the Chengguan under control. Zhang’s clothes were tore apart during the conflict.
At the hospital, Zhang’s voice choked several times during his interview with the reporter. He recalled that they strangled him so hard he couldn’t breathe and thought he was going to die. He couldn’t understand why these savage people who attacked him are not goons and street thugs but are law enforcement officers, and how they could still claim to be right and accuse Zhang of "interfering with their work".
Video of the incident
Chengguan are tearing down a house by force.
Owner of the house (the old man in white coat and cap) was shoved to the ground by the Chengguan squad.
Police officer Zhang Qia arrived and rushed to stop the Chengguan from attacking the senior house owner.
Police officer Zhang Qia was cornered by over 20 Chengguan.
Chengguan chased after Zhang Qia.
(Chengguan yelled: "Let’s take him to the police station.")
Chengguan continued to attack police officer Zhang Qia.
Although this shocking incident sparked a heated discussion on the Internet, an article about this incident on Netease alone had received more than 180,000 comments in 3 weeks, there’s no more follow-up reports on this it. 3 Chengguan involved in the incident were arrested and then there was no more progress of the case. Reporters tried to interview the local public safety bureau to see what their attitude and response for this incident are, but the police refused. The staff in the local police station replied that they had little knowledge of the incident. Later, even Zhang, the attacked police officer refused to talk with the reporters.
This is not the first news about Chengguan attacking the police. Early this January, in Kunming, a police officer was attacked by a squad of Chengguan who were tearing down illegal houses in the police officer’s compound.