Police Open Fire on Spontaneous Protest in China

By Helena Zhu, Epoch Times
July 27, 2011 10:07 pm Last Updated: October 1, 2015 4:05 pm

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Protesters angry after a disabled fruit vendor
was beaten to death by the police

Police opened fire at civilians on Tuesday afternoon in southwestern China after thousands spontaneously gathered to protest of the killing of a disabled street vendor.

Similar to the riots over the mistreatment of migrant workers in southern China last month, locals had gathered in the streets upon learning that local security forces had beaten a disabled fruit vendor to death in Anshun City, in Guizhou Province.

The crowd shouted slogans accusing the government of violence. They threw rocks at shield-wielding police, and overturned government vehicles. The police answered with tear gas, high-pressure water cannons, and live fire.

Mr. Hu, a witness, said police officers with helmets, shields, and batons, along with firefighters and many police cars, arrived at the scene immediately after the crowd gathered to "maintain order."

VICTIMIZED: A street fruit vendor with only one leg was beaten to death by security forces in Anshun City, Guizhou Province. (Weibo.com)
VICTIMIZED: A street fruit vendor with only one leg was beaten to death by security forces in Anshun City, Guizhou Province. (Weibo.com)
“As the crowd shouted expletives at security force and slogans like ‘Let’s punish the killer!’ police used water cannons to spray those on the streets and then everything turned into chaos," Hu said.

"There were many people who were being beaten by armed police. The police also used tear gas [on the crowd], and shooting was also heard. By the time the crowd receded to the sidewalks, a few people were lying on the street bleeding—not sure whether dead or alive. Nobody went rescuing them, but some people shouted: ‘The police killed people!’"

An insider said among those beaten was a boy about 15 years old. After a policeman hit him on the head with a baton, he began vomiting blood and his head was bleeding. Even some pedestrians, who had nothing to do with the riot, were also beaten about the head.

"The police were insane. They beat whoever was in their way," said Ms. Wang, another witness.

"But the crowd did not give up in face of threats and horror. More people came in the evening, probably a few thousand. The crowd filled the sidewalk on either side of the street, and in response, the police also formed a human wall," Wang said. "It wasn’t until after 9 p.m. that the deceased and overturned cars were pulled away."

The fuss all started out at 2 p.m., local time, when security forces began chasing the illegal vendor, an elderly man who only had one leg. When the man could not run away fast enough with his fruit cart, the police grabbed him and a few of them took turns beating him, until he fell to the ground—dead.

When The Epoch Times contacted the municipal public security bureau, it said it would not make further comments beyond the information that is already public.

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