Two Deaths In Guizhou

This is a big story in China, but this is all you are going to get in English:

(China Daily)  Ministry launches probe into police shooting.  January 16, 2010.

The Ministry of Public Security has launched a probe into the case of a policeman who shot two villagers dead in the southwestern province of Guizhou amid growing public discontent about the motive behind the shooting. "A team sent by the Ministry of Public Security has arrived to investigate the incident," Wu Baocheng, an official with the information department for the city of Anshun in Guizhou, told China Daily on Friday.

On Tuesday, Zhang Lei, a deputy police chief in Pogong town near Anshun, allegedly shot dead two local villagers with his gun. Family members of the two dead, Guo Yonghua and Guo Yongzhi, who were closely related, rejected an earlier report issued by local government that the policeman was forced to shoot the two.

According to police reports, they assaulted the cop and tried grabbing his gun, even though the officer had at first given warnings with shootings toward the sky. But family members disputed this.

The two did not use any violence against the policeman, let alone attempt to seize his gun, Yang Bingzhen, wife of Guo Yongzhi, told media on Friday. In addition, Yang disagreed with the report that her husband and the other man had been scuffling with two other villagers, prompting the arrival of the policeman. They were only quarrelling, without any physical fighting, she added.

According to a Chinese law on police use of arms, the police are allowed to shoot at suspects if they ignore police warnings, if the suspects try seizing arms, or if the suspects attack a policeman, threatening his life. Policemen will be punished if they are found firing illegally and causing unnecessary casualties.

Yang is preparing to file a complaint suit against the local government over the damages to the dead men's reputation caused by the report, said Xu Jianguo, a Beijing-based lawyer. Xu today will meet with Yang and other family members of the Guo's for discussions on the case.

Yang has also decided to suspend a civil compensation agreement reached Wednesday with the local government of the township until she receives an apology from the government regarding the report. In the agreement, the government will make a one-time payment of 350,000 yuan ($51,300) to Yang as long as she buries her husband's body by the coming Sunday, a photocopy of the deal shows.

Zhang, the policeman, along with a police assistant involved in the case, have been put under surveillance, said Wu, the information official. "The city will hold a press conference on the case once there is a conclusion drawn by the investigative group," Wu said.

Another police shooting case last February made a splash in China, in which a drunk off-duty policeman in the Yunnan province killed a man with three shots amid a brawl. The policeman received a suspended death sentence last month.

The same story in Chinese is more detailed but also very different depending on whom the reporters interview.  On the Internet, this has been been said to be potentially the next Weng'an mass incident.


On January 12, in Pogongpai town, Guanling county, Anshun city, Guizhou province, two villagers Guo Yonghua and Guo Yongzhi from Yaoshang village Diaojing brigade were shot dead by the police station vice-director Zhang Lei.

According to the Anshun city public security bureau, the autopsy report showed that there are two bullet wounds on Guo Yongzhi.  One bullet entered from the inside of the right thigh and came out near the knee.  The other bullet entered from the temporal bones on the left side of the skull.  There was one bullet wound on Guo Yonghua, with the entry point being under the left left and the exit point at the back of the head.

The autopsy report overturned the previous finding by the Guanling county public security bureau.  After the incident, eyewitnesses said that five shots were fired: the first shot was fired into the air, the second shot was fired at the ground, the third and fourth shots killed Guo Yonghua and the fifth shot killed Guo Yongzhi.  But the Guanling public security bureau deputy director named Liang insisted that Zhang Lei fired only four shots: two warning shots first and when the physical struggle continued, two shots at Guo Yonghua and Guo Yongzhi separately.  Liang said that it was "impossible" for Guo Yongzhi to have two bullet wounds.

The Anshun city public security bureau also said that preliminary investigation showed that both deceased had consumed alcohol before their deaths: Guo Yongzhi had alcohol content of 299 milligrams per 100 millilitre while Guo Yonghua had alcohol content of 233 milligrams per 100 millilitre.

The Anshun police leader said that the preliminary conclusion was that Zhang Lei was inexperienced in handling such situations and his actions may be inappropriate.  It was debatable whether Zhang Lei had to use his gun when he and his assistant were attacked.

Xu Jianguo is the representative for the wives of the two deceased men.  He believes that if the two men attacked the police, "then they deserve to be shot dead."  But the young brother Guo Tao of Guo Yonghua said that the Guanling Autonomous County party secretary and governor summoned him to the town government office at 11pm that night to discuss compensation.

"They wanted us to have the burials as quickly as possible," Guo Tao recalled.  The two leaders said that there is always a solution in cases of death but it was bad to leave the bodies unburied.  Then they asked how much compensation did the family want.

Guo Tao said 750,000 yuan per person.  The leaders said that it was too high and above the standard.  Then they took out the local farming income data and said at most 200,000 yuan per person.

Guo Tao countered, "Society is quite open nowadays.  One day someone might be poor.  The next day he could be a millionaire.  But his fate is sealed once he is shot dead."

After saying that, Guo Tao turned around to leave.  The family had agreed beforehand that if the town government does not give them the amount that they want, they will bring the bodies to the front door of the town government office.

The town party secretary called Guo Tao back and told him that he made sense.  However, the amount was still too high.  Then they engaged in a seesaw battle over the compensation amount.  At 7am, the compensation was set at 350,000 yuan per person, with 30,000 yuan paid up front and the remaining due after the burial.

Three hours later, the Anshun town government held a press conference during which the police claimed that the deceased attacked the police.  On the other side, the Guo family took the bodies to the town hospital for autopsies and buried the body on the evening of January 16.

On the afternoon of the next day, the Pogong town Civil Affairs Bureau Welfare Office issued 12 payment chits to the Guo family totaling 320,000 yuan.  Among the eight family members of Guo Yonghua, 7 received 43,000 yuan each and one received 49,000 yuan.  Among the four family members of Guo Yongzhi, each received 87,500 yuan.  The payment slips chits then exchanged for checks that were deposited at the Credit Union and transferred back to the recipients afterwards.

The reporter read that the compensation was described as "Pogong town relief money."  Relief money comes from government budget allocation and civilian donations to relieve disaster and hardship.  The process requires evaluation, registration and announcement.  According to Pogong town party secretary Luo Qingping, the town borrowed 700,000 yuan from the country treasury to pay compensation to the families.

Xu Jinguo said that there was no reason why the town government should pay compensation.  During the January 13 press conference, the two deceased were said to have attacked the police and therefore killed.  If that was true, the government should not have paid a cent.  But if Zhang Lei and Wang Daosheng committed intentional murder, then they should pay the compensation.

According to the Supreme Court's Explanations about the appropriate laws to determine compensation, there are four ingredients:

Death compensation = (average city/town resident average disposable income per annum) x 20

Burial compensation = (average city/town resident average disposable income per annum) x 0.5

Child rearing compensation = (average city/town resident average disposable  income per annum) x (18 - age of the child of the deceased)

Alimony compensation = (average city/town resident average disposable income per annum) x 20 x (number of elderly family members) / (number of siblings)

In 2009, the average disposable income per capita is 11758.76 yuan.  In the case of Guo Yongzhi, he has a 9-year-old son, two parents and six siblings.  Thus, there should be 235,175.20 yuan for death compensation, 5879.39 yuan for burial compensation, 75,142.89 yuan for child rearing compensation and 47,709.77 yuan for alimony compensation.  The total adds up to 363,907.24 yuan.

"In the case, the government is paying him 14,000 yuan less," Xu Jianguo shook his head.  Even though the difference was not much, this was still a compensation paid in return for peace and stability, and therefore the process is still a mess.

(  January 16, 2010.

According to the Guo Yongwen, the brother of Guo Yongzhi, the Guo family and the Dai family are supposed to be related.  A man from the Dai family had married a woman from the Guo family.  But the families came into conflict over another marriage among children.

One month ago, Guo Yonghua's niece Xiaosong proposed to the woman Xiaojing in the neighboring village.  When Xiaojing agreed to meet, Xiaosong came home to see her.  But after the meeting, Xiaojing eloped with Xiaotao from the Dai family instead.  So Guo Yonghua demanded the Dai family to compensate Xiaosong for his lost wages and travel expenses.  After several arguments, which even involved Guo Yonghua smashing a bottle of wine from the Dai family, the Dai family finally paid 1,360 yuan on January 7.

On January 14, Guo Yongwen retold the story of the shootings to the reporter: "At just past 4pm on January 4.  I and my cousin Guo Yonghua were ready to go home after being at the market.  Guo Yonghua got on the motorcycle, but he did not even get his right glove on.  The Dai family of three charged in front of us on a motorcycle.  Someone grabbed my neck from aside.  Guo Yongzhi and another villager Chen Xiangyong also came over to mediate.  Guo Yonghua said that we are related and we should clear things up.  So he went back.  At that moment, the uniformed police officer Wang Dansheng and the plainclothes police officer Zhang Lei arrived at the scene.  Zhang Lei asked us to go down to the police station to resolve the matter, but Guo Yonghua did not want to.  I went up to stop Guo Yonghua, but Wang Daosheng pushed me onto the ground.  When I got back up, I heard several gunshots."

"I saw Guo Yonghua and Guo Yongzhi lying on the ground.  Guo Yongzhi said: 'Don't shoot.  Please take me to treatment ...'  A woman named Zhang Li was ready to offer aid, but Zhang Lei shouted: 'I will shoot anyone who dares to offer aid!'  Then he shot Guo Yongzhi one more time.  The Dai son then went up to smash a brick against the head of the already dead Guo Yonghua."

Guo Yongwen said that local customs do not allow bodies to lie face down.  When he attempted to turn the body over, Zhang Lei put a gun on his head.  The villager Chen Xiangyong also confirmed that he came together with Guo Yongzhi.  After the Guo brothers were shot, he went up to offer aid.  But Zhang Lei stuck a gun against his stomach.  "I don't know if he pulled the trigger.  Maybe he had no bullets in his gun."

Xiao Liu who runs a shop nearby gave basically the same story as Guo Yongwen: "I was stunned when I got out of the store."  He saw the plainclothes Zhang Lei pointing at Guo Yonghua with this left hand and pulling his gun out with his right hand while shouting: "Kneel down, or else I'll shoot you!"  That was especially loud.  Guo Yonghua replied: "I did not break any laws, and you don't dare to shoot anyway."

The uniformed police officer than use his electric baton to knock Guo Yonghua town.  The plainclothes Zhang Lei pulled out his gun and fired once into the air and once into the ground.  At that moment, Guo Yongzhi came up and Zhang Lei fired once at the hip.  Guo Yongzhi fell down, but he did not die immediately.  He crawled towards an electricity pole.  "This man can still be saved.  Get him to the hospital quick."  Spectators yelled.  But Zhang Lei pointed his gun at the approaching villagers: "I will shoot anyone who dares to take him to the hospital!"  Zhang Lei then went up to Guo Yongzhi and fired another shot into the back of his head.

Xiao Liu also confirmed that there had been no fighting whatsoever at the scene.  "The two men did not even raise their hands."  According to the video from the scene, Guo Yonghua was still holding a white glove in his right hand.  "If my brother attacked the police violently, why would he still be holding a glove at the moment of death?"  Guo Yongwen was strongly suspicious of the police bulletin.

Another man who claimed to be an eyewitness said something similar to Xiao Liu: "The police officer held a gun in one hand and he grabbed Guo Yonghua's hair to make him kneel down.  Then he saw the police officer fire one shot underneath Guo Yonghua's leg.  Then he shot him in the head.  A total of five shots were fired."

According to the video from the scene, the two bodies were both T-shaped with arms spread.  Guo Yonghua lied facing up with a large pool of blood underneath him.  Guo Yongzhi lied facing down with his head towards the electricity pole.  The motorcycle had three baskets containing plastic wash basins and plastic drums.  There was no sign of any weapons.  According to villagers, the two Guo's were unarmed.

(Tianya Forum)  January 17, 2010.

The reporter was able to located the two principals: Pogong town Yaoshang village resident Dai Cunzhong and his son Dai Xiaojiang.  "We did not ram Guo Yonghua and them with our motorcycle.  We never hit them from start to end."  The Dai father and son were still frightened when they discussed the case.

Dai Cunzhong's youngest son Dai Xiaotao was romancing the girl Ye Jing from the same village.  The deceased Guo Yonghua had a younger brother Xiaofanping who also liked Ye Jing.  Guo Yonghua brought two bottles of wine and two boxes of candy to visit Ye Jing's grandmother to make a marriage proposal on behalf of Xiaofanping.  Before the New Year, Ye Jing came back from working outside and headed straight to see Dai Xiaotao.  When the Guo family heard about that, they were very angry.  "How dare the Dai family interfere with our daughter-in-law?"

"On January 8, we went to discuss the matter at the request of the Guo family.  At the time, Guo Yonghua, Guo Yongwen and other cousins were present too."  Dai Cunzhong said that two of the female cousins of the Guo family are his sister-in-laws, so that the two families are related.  The Guo family agreed to rescind the marriage with the Ye family, but they asked the Dai family to compensate Xiaofan's lost half month of wages plus travel expenses to the sum of 1,360 yuan.  Dai Cunzhong gave the money to Xiaofanping right there and then.  There was no further problem between the two families.

January 12 was market day in Pogong town.  As usual, Dai Cunzhong and his two sons set up a stall to sell two-layered cakes.  Dai Cunzhong came across old lady Ye, who said: "I feel really sorry for you family.  Our family did not receive any betrothal money from the Guo family and we did not agree to have our daughter marry over to them.  So why should you make compensation?  You should go to them and ask for you money back."  Dai Cunzhong: "This is the destiny of the children, so let us forget about the money.  Let us not make any more trouble."

Afterwards, the unhappy old lady Ye began to talk about the matter with some relatives there.  By happenstance, Guo Yongwen saw her and they got into an argument.

The Dai trio was afraid of the angry Guo Yongwen, and so they packed up their stall and got on the motorcycle to leave.  But the market was crowded and the motorcycle inched along.  Guo Yongwen caught up with them and grabbed the collar of Dai Cunzhong who was sitting in the middle.  "Your mother's cunt, why did you send old lady Ye over to scold me?"  Without heeding any explanation, he swung a blow at the left ear of the driver Dai Xiaojiang, plus a few more blows at Dai Xiaotao in the back.  By this time, Guo Yonghua also appeared and the two dragged the Dai trio off the motorcycle and attacked them.

Dai Cunzhong said that even though they were being attacked, they did not retaliate.  They only wanted to leave the scene.  "We backed off when they attacked us.  Fellow villager Li Shuhua and his son came over to mediate, but they were beaten back as well."

Several minutes later, police station deputy director Zhang Lei and police officer Wang Daosheng separated them while identifying themselves.  Guo Yonghua said, "We can't win.  Let's leave."  Zhang Lei said, "Go down to the police station to sort things out first before you leave."

"Just as we were ready to go, Guo Yongzhi hurried over with two men.  As soon as he saw me, he hit me."  Dai Cunzhong said that Zhang Lei jumped in immediately and saved him from Guo Yongzhi.  Things got chaotic as spectators crowded the scene.  "I saw police officer Wang Daosheng use his electric baton (note: it was actually a collapsible baton) to control Guo Yongwen.  But Guo Yongzhi and others charged towards Zhang Lei and forced him backwards.  Zhang Lei fired two shots into the air.  The two deceased did not stop but rushed instead up close to Zhang Lei and struggled.  There were sparks on the ground.  Then I heard two gunshots, and two men lied dead on the ground.  I heard Zhang Lei said aloud: 'Everybody saw this.  They were trying to seize my gun.  You be my witness when the time comes'."

"We were very scared.  We were afraid that the Guo family will seek us out for revenge."  Dai Cunzhong said that the three of them hid in a friend's place and went down to the police station after 11pm to make their statements.

Concerning the previous report that the villager Chen Xiangyong being almost killed by Zhang Lei except for the fact that were no bullets in the gun, our reporter interviewed Chen Xiangyong again.

Chen Xiangyong told that reporter that he was friends with the deceased.  On that day, he went to the market to purchase fertilizers when he met Guo Yonghua, Guo Yongzhi, Guo Yongwen, Li Shuhua and son.  He invited them to drink at the restaurant where he saw another friend.  The seven of them drank about 5 or 6 jin of white wine.  After dinner, they went home separately.  "I went to the food store and I vaguely remember seeing Guo Yongwen struggling with someone.  I went up to mediate.  I vaguely sensed that a uniformed policeman poke my waist with something, and I subconsciously thought that it was a gun.  Then I seemed to have heard gunshots, and I saw Guo Yonghua and GuoYongzhi dead on the ground.  A plainclothes police man was still holding a gun in his hand."

Chen Xiangyong siad that he drank seven or eight liang of white wine that day, and might have exaggerated things to the reporter that day.  Much of what he said came from others.  After he got over his alcohol stupor, he was unsure whether the policeman had threatened him, nor was he sure what happened between the deceased and the policeman.

"I clearly saw what happened on that day," an eyewitness retold the story to the reporter.

According to the eyewitness, there was a quarrel between the Guo and Dai families, and the two officers were summoned.  Zhang Lei said: "Let's solve this down at the police station."  But the Guo family refused to go, and added: "If this is to be solved, it will be solved right here."  Then Guo Yongzhi charged up and grabbed Dai Cunzhong by the collar in order to hit him.  Zhang Lei separated Guo Yongzhi and said, "I am the director."  "So what if you are the director?"  The three members of the Guo family charged up.  One of them grabbed Wang Dansheng while the other two attacked Zhang Lei, forcing the latter into a ditch.  Under the circumstances, Zhang Lei took out his gun and fired two warning shots in to the air and one more into the ground.  When the two heard the sounds of gunshots, they did not retreat.  They continued to rush at Zhang Lei.  During the struggle, another gunshot was heard and Guo Yonghua fell to the ground.  Guo Yongzhi held on to the Zhang Lei's right hand and struggled.  Another gun shot rang out, and Guo Yongzhi fell to the ground.  Afterwards, Zhang Lei told the villagers at the scene: "You all saw that they wanted to seize my gun today.  It was either him or me."

The eyewitness also said that the Guo family sent people to visit every family and said: "Don't tell the truth, or else we'll blow your home up with dynamite."  Another eyewitness told the reporter that she clearly saw the two deceased men struggling for Zhang Lei's gun.

(  January 19, 2010.

At 11:00am on January 18, the Guizhou province Anshun city government held its second press conference on the case of policeman Zhang Lei shooting two villagers to death.  The government was represented by Pogong town mayor Wu Xin and Guanling county public security bureau deputy director Ran Taiyou (in charge of criminal investigations).  During the 30 minute conference, all sorts of amazing things were said.  The following are notes taken during the Q&A session.

Anshun Government Website: Did Zhang Lei have any prior conflicts with the people who were involved in the dispute?
Ran Taiyou: This is presently under investigation.  The testimony of the principals do not indicated any conflicts or other relationships between Zhang Lei and the two sides of the dispute.

Guizhou Daily: Why did the Pogong town government sign a compensation agreement with the families of the deceased.
Wu Xin: The town government worked hard to maintain social stability.  Since the families of the deceased indicated that they were economically strapped and requested compensation before they could have the autopsies and burials, the government studied the request.  Both families were found to be in economic hardship.  If the bodies were left in the strees of Pogong town, it would interfere with traffic and cause inconvenience.  Based upon humanitarian considerations and administrative responsibility, the town government gave compensation in the form of relief in order to insure stability.  The town government reached an accord with the families of the deceased who cooperated with the effort.  Everything is moving along smoothly, as the two deceased persons were buried on January 15 in accordance with local customs.
But you may have some questions.  The first is that why did the Pogong town government offer such a high compensation amount given that it is a poor county?  This is because the families of the deceased asked for a lot, and 350,000 yuan was the minimum that they would accept.  They were not going to cooperate with the autopsies and investigations otherwise.
Secondly, where is the money coming from?  The county treasury is footing the bill temporarily.
Perhaps you may have a third question: Will money be taken out of the civil affairs budget or treasury to pay the compensation?  We are footing the bill temporarily and we will study what to do afterwards.

Chongqing Morning News: Is Zhang Lei being investigated for crimes or discipline violations?  The official statement on Zhang Lei was that "he was inexperienced and he acted improperly."  What does that mean?  How shall we regard the actions of Zhang Lei?
Ran Taiyou: At the present stage, Zhang Lei is being investigated by the public security bureau.  He is temporarily suspected from duty.  He is under investigation.  When the investigation is complete, he will be dealt with according to the relevant rules and regulations.

Unidentified reporter: Why did Zhang Lei only fire lethal shots?  Is it possible that he shot and injured the man in the leg and then shot him again in the head to cause death?
Ran Taiyou: Based upon our investigation, we can say categorically that this view is not objective.  Two of the shots were fired into the air.  One shot hit a non-lethal part of the body.  There was no such thing as injuring Guo Yongzhi first and then going up to shoot him in the head.

Xiaoxiang Morning News: Guo Yongzhi was shot twice.  But you just said that there was no such thing as injuring GuoYongzhi first and then going up to shoot him in the head.  Does that mean that he was shot dead in the head first before being shot in the leg next?
Ran Taiyou:  There was no such thing either.

Xiaoxiang Morning News: So he was neither shot in the leg first nor shot in the head first.  Did Zhang Lei shoot Guo Yongzhi twice faster than the bat of an eye?
Ran Taiyou: You can ask again after we complete our investigation.

(chaos in press conference hall)

Xinmin Weekly: I protest!  This press conference has been rehearsed!

Huasheng News: Two shots.  Which was the first shot and which was the second shot?  How close?  How close was the gun from the gunshot wound?
Ran Taiyou: The provincial public security bureau is conducting the scene analysis and technical examination about the distance.  We will tell you the facts after the investigation has reached its conclusions.

Huasheng News: Guo Yongzhi was shot twice.  Which was the first shot and which was the second shot?
Ran Taiyou: We tell you after the technical examination of the provincial public security bureau is done.

(the reporter were clearly dissatisfied as chaos broke out again)

Xinmin Weekly: The police investigation report stuck to the "attacking a policeman" story on January 13 and the attempt to seize the gun.  How come none of the eyewitnesses interviewed by the media said so?  Many eyewitnesses did not even see any physical contact between the two sides.  At most, the principals said that they shoved and pushed the police.  I don't know how the police concluded that there was an attack on a policeman and an attempt to seize his gun.  Have you interrogated these eyewitnesses?  The police must reveal their procedures.
Ran Taiyou: As the reporter comrade said, the procedures must be revealed.  However, the case is still under investigation, including the scene analysis and technical examinations.  A lot of investigation is still going on.  When the investigation is completed ...

Huasheng News:  If the investigation is still ongoing, then wasn't it hasty to announce "the attack on a policeman" on January 13?
Ran Taiyou: No, no, that was not a result.  The true legal results will have to wait until the investigation is completed ...

Chongqing Morning News: A conclusion was drawn before the investigation was completed.  Do you feel that you were acting responsibly as a government worker?
Ran Taiyou: The state of our investigation ... the final results ... we will reveal the facts from the investigation to everybody ...

Xinmin Weekly: Do we understand that you mean mean to say that the "attack on the policeman" and the "attempted seizing of the gun" are not definitive but just certain testimonies that the police heard during their investigation?
Ran Taiyou: The final results will have to wait until the investigation is completed before being revealed to everybody.

Chongqing Morning News: Can you give us a time for the results of the investigation?
Ran Taiyou: This ... we can ... after this is over, we can set up a time together ... oh ... this ... exchange ... exchange together.

Xinmin Weekly: Is the press conference today a progress report on the investigation?  Or is it definitive?  Please answer directly!
Ran Taiyou: This is ... the situation of our investigation ... this is not the final state ...

Host: The Q&A is over.

(Instant chaos in the meeting hall.  The reporter are extremely unhappy and they protested loudly.  They shouted out more questions)

Chongqing Morning News: If you have defined that two villagers were shot because they attempted to seize the policeman's gun and the government paid 700,000 yuan in compensation, aren't you encouraging other people to do the same thing to a certain degree?

Host: A reply has already been given.

Jiangxi TV: Did the compensation to the deceased come from using the budget for civil affairs?
Wu Xin: It was only borrowed temporarily.

Jiangxi TV: Isn't this loan a form of transfer?  The civil affairs budget is used specifically for relief work.
Wu Xin: No, this comes from civil channels and it is only being temporarily borrowed.

(The mayor and the deputy director wanted to leave, but the reporters surrounded them.  The scene fell into chaos again.)

Host: We have prepared lunch for everybody.  Please go and eat lunch.
(The reporters said that they didn't want lunch and continued to surround the mayor and the deputy director, who were able to run off eventually.)

Link: QQ Video