Police officers not charged over death of Lei Yang: procuratorate

Source:Global Times Published: 2016/12/23 20:03:39

Beijing prosecutors announced on Friday that they decided not to file dereliction of duty charges against five police officers in connection with the death of a man during a police raid in May.

Lei Yang, 29, died during a raid on a foot massage parlor in Beijing's Changping district in May. His death triggered public outcry and raised suspicions of police brutality and abuse of power.

According to a statement released by the People's Procuratorate of Beijing Municipality on Friday, the Fengtai district procuratorate decided not to file the charge although the behavior of the five officers was eligible for the charge.

The decision was made in consideration of the fact that Lei disrupted law enforcement, the breach of duty is minor and that officers admitted and regretted for their wrongdoing, said the statement.

The police officers' action to control the man who was trying to escape, which included slapping on his face, was part of the fulfillment of their duty and did not directly cause Lei's death, and it doesn't amount to abuse of power, an official with the Fengtai procuratorate said at a press conference on Friday.

Judicial experts confirmed that Lei died from choking on his own vomit, but they could not rule out the possibility that the choke was caused by use of force by the officers during the enforcement, which includes putting their arms around Lei's neck and pressing his face and body to the ground, the statement added.

One of the officers surnamed Xing made a false statement to the press after Lei's death sparked wide attention online, which raised suspicion among the public, and fabricated facts and concealed the truth together with other four police officers, which disturbed the investigation, it said.

The statement released on Friday was the most elaborate among the 12 already announced by the Beijing procuratorates on the case.

The Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau expressed regret on its Sina Weibo account on Friday, adding that the bureau will handle the case involving the five police officers seriously and in accordance with law.


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