A public security official in Shanxi Province has been sacked after he used his position and strong-arm tactics to protect and cover up his son’s violent and abusive response to a traffic stop.
Li Yali, who is the Deputy Director of the Public Security Bureau in Shanxi Province and the Secretary of the Taiyuan City Public Security Bureau, was terminated from all his duties on Dec. 6. Li is accused of abusing his power by trying to cover up and have the charges reduced for his son who attacked police during a DUI traffic stop.
In order to block the news from leaking out, Li used intrusive and abusive methods to control and monitor the people related to the incident, according to reports on mainland media portals Sina and China Times.
Previous to being censored by Li, reports had appeared on the Internet alleging that Li’s son, Li Zhengyuan, had resisted arrest after being pulled over for drunk driving. When patrolman Xia Kun checked Li’s identification, Li threatened him with violence, saying, “I will beat you every time I see you since you now know who I am.”
When passersby rebuked Li, he replied: “Get out of my way, this is none of your business. I’m just handling some family matters.”
Afterwards, subordinate officers allegedly worked to help Li Yali falsify evidence by deleting content and details in the police record and lowering the tested alcohol level. This resulted in a reduction of his son’s charge from “drunk-driving,” to “driving after limited alcohol intake.” Li Yali took great pains to prevent any of this from becoming public.
China Times reported the details of Li’s orders to manage his son’s drunk driving case through phone and Internet monitoring.
It said that officer Xia Kun’s cell phone was to be confiscated. His new cell phone was to be carefully monitored, and any calls from media “dealt with.”
Officer Xia’s call history and voice mails were also to be investigated, and anyone who was found mentioning Li Yali was to be tracked down and “dealt with.”
Furthermore, keyword censorship of the local cell phone text messages was to be implemented for security reasons to filter anyone that may mention Li Yali. Once the name Li Yali was texted over the text messages, the owner of the cell phone was to be “dealt with.”
In addition, IP addresses were all to be traced to track down the individuals who posted information on the Internet related to this case. These people would be “dealt with” to prevent new posts on the web.
Yan Lieshan, columnist for Southern Metropolis Daily, said, in his opinion, the main reason that Li Yali can do all of this is because the police has too much power.
“The position of security chief is extremely important, for it can mobilize a lot of resources,” Yan said.
The centralization of power is another reason why Li can order all these things, and because many of his superiors and subordinates back him up, Yan said.
“Some are forced to cooperate, like Xia Kun who was beaten. Others support proactively, even wanting to gain something from their actions,” he said.
A netizen on Weibo said: “All the traffic police from Taiyuan gave falsified testimonies to defend a child of a privileged government official. This has become a laughingstock for the Chinese judicial system. The fact that such a thing happens when anti-corruption reform is highly touted by the central government, goes to show that the fear of exposure has not yet shaken the foundation of corruption–the regime.”
Xi Jinping, China’s new Party leader, has indicated that there will be a massive “Party rectification” campaign to root out corruption, to be launched next spring, according to reports circulated after the 18th Congress. Chinese netizens have recently exposed many corruption scandals in reaction to that campaign announcement.
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