Driver's death after shuffle leads to riots
Updated: 2012-10-18 23:33
By HUANG ZHILING in Chengdu (China Daily)
Twenty people have been detained by police in Luzhou, Sichuan province, following a riot on Wednesday night that was sparked by the death of a truck driver who was killed in a clash with police, according to a leading official.
"A team consisting of officials from the city's commission for discipline inspection and procuratorate is investigating the case. It will make the results of the investigation available to the public and handle the incident in accordance with the law," said Zhang Wenjun, secretary-general and spokesman of the Luzhou government, at a news conference on Thursday morning.
Zhang said that Gan Junyuan, a driver from Zaozi village in the city's Longmatan district, parked his white truck at about 5:20 pm on Wednesday outside the Hongxingcun Farm Produce Market where he was delivering fish.
Two policemen approached Gan and asked him to move the truck as he had stopped in a no-parking zone. Instead of leaving, however, Gan swore at, and scuffled with, the police. During the scuffle, Gan suddenly announced he felt unwell, and shouted that his medicine was in the truck's cab.
"The policemen did not find the medicine but onlookers found it and helped Gan take it. But his condition deteriorated. An ambulance arrived after the police called for help. But medics who performed first aid failed to save him," Zhang said.
While this was happening, more than 1,000 onlookers gathered. Some of the onlookers became emotional, and began to attack the policemen and their cars. Five cars were ignited and two were burned completely, according to Zhang.
Soon after the rioting took place, Liu Qiang, mayor of Luzhou, rushed to the scene and persuaded people to leave.
At around 2:30 am on Thursday, Gan's relatives sent his body to the local funeral parlor. By 4 am, all the onlookers had left, according to Liu.
No casualties occurred when police dealt with the incident, Zhang said.
The incident has been a hot topic of conversation in Luzhou.
Jie Si, a doctor in the city, said angry onlookers who resorted to violence believed that Gan's scuffle with the police led to his death.
"People believe Gan agreed to leave after the police asked him to do so, and the truck scraped a policeman when he was backing up. In the ensuing scuffle, the policeman punched his neck. After he fell, the policemen thought he was pretending to be ill and left without calling an ambulance," Jie said.
"After medics announced Gan's death on the scene, his relatives did not take away his body and angry onlookers turned into rioters. People say even if Gan had a heart attack, it would not have happened if the confrontation had not taken place," Jie said.
Luzhou is a major city in southern Sichuan, located at the confluence of the Tuojiang River and the Yangtze River.