27 Sep 2014

After China gives police new guns, spate suspicious shootings have followed. Invoking the threat of terrorism, Chinese police for the first time in years have started carrying guns and, with little training, using them.

 Invoking the threat of terrorism, Chinese police for the first time in years have started carrying guns and, with little training, using them.
The fatal effects have rippled across the country, reaching even this tiny mountain village.
China’s removal of a ban on police guns came in response to a gruesome attack on a train station several hundred miles from here, but it has given the police almost blanket authority to shoot whenever they see fit.
More than a decade into America’s war on terror, China is launching its own. And experts worry that the flood of newly armed police — combined with poor training and the government’s take-no-prisoners attitude — could become as fearful a problem as the terrorism it is intended to combat.
In the latest police-related violence, at least 40 people died Sunday in China’s restive Xinjiang region, according to state-run news media, which attributed the incident to terrorists and identified the deceased as “rioters” shot by police or killed in explosions.
By contrast, the sleepy village of Luokan is about as remote and unlikely a place for terrorism as can be found. Yet when police fatally shot a man recently in the middle of a busy market here, they declared him a terrorist as well and abruptly closed the case. 
“But everyone knows this is a lie,” said one villager in a hushed midnight interview inside his home. 
“There are no terrorists here,” said another beside him. “The only ones we’re afraid of are the police.”
While police shootings are often viewed with suspicion worldwide — most notably in the death last month of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Mo. — there are few countries where local authorities have as much power as they do in China to suppress all evidence afterward.
No one knows how many people die here from gun violence each year, much less from police shootings, because of government secrecy.

1 comment: