The Spark That Started The Luzhou Riot This Week Was Probably Just A Rumor

People rioted in Luzhou, Sichuan province on Wednesday evening after they heard that police had beaten a truck driver to death in broad daylight. Tea Leaf Nation relayed several messages from incensed netizens who never doubted it, notably from a Sina Weibo user, @Aluo阿罗, who declared, “Luzhou police have beaten someone to death, causing tens of thousands of onlookers to gather ’round. ….”

Global Times, however, offered an alternative narrative; we honed in on this humorous quote from an official at the scene: “The driver died of an acute disease during the law enforcement process when he was told by the traffic police to remove his truck from the middle of a road.”

Strange as that wording is, South China Morning Post, a sane voice muzzled by its own paywall, published a corroborating account early yesterday:

“At around 5.30pm, I rushed to the scene, which is around 100 metres from my office, and saw that the victim, who was then surrounded by three traffic policemen, was suffering from some kind of heart attack, before asking someone to help him to get his drugs from his vehicle,” she said.

She said the man, in his 40s, was a fish vendor in the street where she worked.

“I left the scene when the man was still conscious after having swallowed two drug tablets,” she said. “When someone told me the man had died, I went back to the scene at about 6.30pm and found out that was true.”

She said she had not noticed any injuries on the man’s body.

SCMP has since followed up with an article about authorities being uncannily proactive in punishing those who spread false rumors:

At least 20 people were detained following a riot in Sichuan on Wednesday sparked by rumours that a man had been beaten to death by traffic policemen, state media reported yesterday.

Gan Junyuan , 58, died from a pre-existing medical condition in central Luzhou on Wednesday afternoon, and not because of a scuffle with police, Xinhua reported.

Local officials told a press conference yesterday morning that Gan had refused to move his illegally parked truck at around 5.30pm when asked to do so by two auxiliary traffic policemen and had shouted abuse at them.

The policemen and Gan jostled each other before Gan became ill and yelled that he needed medicine that he kept in his truck, the report said.

Gan’s condition worsened after he took the medicine and he was pronounced dead after an ambulance arrived at the scene.

The official version of events was essentially in line with a report in this newspaper yesterday quoting a young woman who witnessed the incident.

The exact details remain unknown, and it’s unlikely that we’ll ever find out. At this point, hearsay piled upon hearsay is all we’ll get, and it’ll elucidate nothing. But indications are that some very vocal and very convincing rabblerousers were among the first to descend upon Wednesday’s unfortunate tragedy and turn it into something much more. Perhaps we could say something here about pent-up  anger at incompetent governance needing outlets. But perhaps it’d be equally worthwhile to say that some assholes decided to endanger public safety because they’re assholes. How you react to this incident, like so many in China in the absence of solid facts, probably ends up saying more about you than the situation itself.

2 Responses to “The Spark That Started The Luzhou Riot This Week Was Probably Just A Rumor”

  1. krondorian

    因牵涉到内部资料,不方便放视频,视频已经证实。两协警未动手打人,系司机见是协警执法,不听协警指挥,辱骂协警,协警呼叫民警前来处理开罚单,司机见状下车抢对讲机,抓扯协警衣服,导致协警胸口几处抓伤痕迹,并脚踢协警(有伤痕照片证实),在司机用拳头打协警头部时候,协警本能反应用手抓住司机手,突然司机说不舒服往后仰,此时协警手没放开跟着司机倒下,这就出现了协警扑在司机身上,司机忙说车上有药,另一名协警上车找药,找到多种药,问司机吃那种药。司机服用后,协警跑去买水,却被司机告诉服用这种药不能喝水,见司机服用药后没有好转,随即汇报110指挥中心与120。
    120来后,当时司机还没断气,属于最后一口气,抢救也无效的那种。因医院知道拉回去抢救也无效,怕拉回医院已经死亡会被家属医闹索赔承贷责任,拒绝拉回医院抢救,(这种情况不管怎么说医院做样子也应该赶忙拉回去抢救的)警方领导多次与院方领导沟通,却被得知医院怕负责赔偿,拒绝拉回医院(因前几天医院就因一起交通事故抢救病人死后被家属索赔几十万)。
    就这样导致死者死体一直停留现场至凌晨2点左右由火葬场车拉走!估计事后医院相关领导要遭哦!就因为死体没拉走,才导致后来的打砸烧警察。

    本地论坛转的

    Reply

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