The Drug Dealer, Her Husband and Their Son
This collection of photographs (via 6Park) appeared to come from a police investigator in Shanghai. There are two parts in this story. The first part is the typical police surveillance action, whereas the second part is a completely different plot twist. It is often said that the police in China do not follow the rule of law. But this is one case in which the police were in fact 'handcuffed' by the law. Of course, this is not an argument against the rule of law; rather, it means that the laws have to make sense in light of social reality.
In the first part, the police team had the assignment of watching a certain female drug dealer and catching her in the act. The police photographer was posted on the fifth floor of a building, right above the courtyard in which the drug transactions usually take place. This is the kind of police action that happens every day in New York City or London. No surprises here at all.
(Note: The red circle is the package that
the woman quickly flicked away)
The arrested female was an Uighur woman. She did not seem particularly concerned about being arrested. She said that she lived with her son. She and her husband were about to get divorced, and he did not care about her. The police knew full well that her husband would not come to the station. The Uighur woman had a trump card -- she knew that under the law, the police could not lock both her and her son up. There is an Uighur Child Assistance Center, but it would not take in a child so young. Everybody knew that the police had to let her go.
Late that night, a man named Ah Sum showed up to post bail for the woman. The man identified himself as a friend of her husband. So the police had no choice but to let her go. Before doing so, the police read her the requirements of the bail -- she had to report to the police station the next day, for one thing.
Of course, the woman did not show the next day. She turned off her telephone and she moved to a different place. The police rescinded her bail and then went looking for her again. After three days, they caught her again. This time, she was alone. When she was brought back to the police station, she became very nervous. She did not have her trump card this time. In her handbag, the police found 10,000 yuan, wrapping and string to package drugs as well as a scale for weighing drugs. Obviously, she was still busy at work. The woman confessed that Ah Sum was actually her husband. In any case, the case was considered solved and she was formally arrested.
Afterwards, Ah Sum came to the police station a couple of times. He did not know that his wife was arrested yet. But since Ah Sum still insisted that he was only a friend of the husband, the police told him that the case can only be discussed with direct relatives. On the third visit, Ah Sum had just called his home in Xinjiang and found out that his wife had been arrested. So on this visit, he finally admitted to the police officer that he was the husband.
The police officer informed him that his wife has been formally arrested. If he wanted to know more, he needed to go to another police station where the officer-in-charge works. The man demanded that his wife be released because he couldn't take care of his son, but this police officer told him that it was his responsibility. He glared at the police officer, who glared back at him. Anyway, the husband left for the other police station. There, he issued a different kind of threat. Let us follow the photo-play for some gory action (WARNING!). I repeat, this is seriously disturbing as to what people will do to themselves in order to get what they want.
The police station director and the division commander discussed what to do with this man who mutilated himself. The suggestion to allow his wife to go out on bail again was rejected because the law must not be defeated in this manner. So the police sent Ah Sum away for medical treatment, and told him that they had to follow the course of the law.
Several days later, the police summoned Ah Sum back to the police station. The police handed over the 10,000 yuan in the woman's possession when she was arrested. There was no direct evidence that these were ill-gotten gains and so this was just releasing personal property back to the family of an arrestee. The man asked the police to forward a family photo to his wife. Then the man got up and walked out of the police station holding his son in his arms. By the way, the police had found out from the wife already that the husband was a drug addict who needed money to support his habit.
How did these photographs get to be posted on the Internet? The poster was clearly a member of the criminal investigation division in the police force. This was not an officially sanctioned release that appeared in the People's Daily or Liberation Daily. Rather, it appeared anonymously on the Internet. In the overall tone of the accompanying text (which has not been translated in full here), there is a sense of dispirit. After all, who could possibly be satisified with such an outcome? Let me say this: "I am immensely saddened." Let me repeat once more: "I am immensely saddened."