Experts call for more protection of policemen
2015-03-27 16:48:00

Chinese legal experts are calling for more to be done to protect this country's police officers.

A traffic police officer is killed after being dragged for around ten meters by an SUV on March 11, 2015 in Shanghai. [Photo: Video Screen Capture from China.com]

A traffic police officer is killed after being dragged for around ten meters by an SUV on March 11, 2015 in Shanghai. [Photo: Video Screen Capture from China.com]

This comes amid a series of recent cases involving traffic police officers becoming involved in violent and sometimes deadly confrontations with drivers.

In one case earlier this month, a traffic police officer in Shanghai eventually died after being dragged for around ten meters by an SUV.

Surveillance video shows the 32 year-old police officer was trying to stop the vehicle after it made an illegal turn.

The officer eventually died of head injuries.

The latest stats from the Ministry of Public Security show cases of assault on police officers came in at around 12-thousand through 2013.

Twenty-three of the officers involved were killed.Another 44 were seriously injured.

Professor Hong Daode with the China University of Politics and Law says he believes the underlying cause is a basic disrespect of the law.

"There are two aspects to the disrespect of the law. There are those who have a very poor understanding of the law and those who don't trust law enforcers. These include people who believe that law enforcement officials are breaking the law themselves. This perception of law enforcement is simply ill-founded."

The current criminal law does include provisions to punish those who obstruct law enforcement.

The punishment ranges anywhere from 15 days detention to up to 3-years behind bars.

Xu Zhihui is a lawyer and legal expert.

She's been calling for changes to the legislation surrounding the assault of a police officer.

"I think the current provisions when it comes to obstructing law enforcement and civil services are not enough to protect police officers. Assaulting the police is an aggressive act; it is not merely a way of just trying to escape punishment. The current obstruction statutes in the law don't account for violent acts against law enforcement."

However, calls for stronger enforcement of the laws is also raising questions about how much personal protection police officers are afforded themselves under the current rules.

While some argue that giving more personal protection to individual officers makes sense, others have raised concerns it may end up giving too much power to other law-enforcement functionaries, such as Chengguan, or urban management officers.

Among trained police officers, traffic law enforcement officers aren't normally allowed to carry lethal weapons.

While some in the law enforcement community have suggested this may be the logical next step, many law enforcement officers have been suggesting what they need more is clarification of the codes so they know what level of force they're currently allowed to use in any given circumstance.

Yang Zhi is a traffic officer in the city of Shijiazhuang in Hebei.

"This is a rubber stick. This is pepper spray, and this is a pair of handcuffs. But I've never used any of them because I don't really know which one is suitable under which circumstances. On top of that, I personally don't think it's right to use force against un-armed citizens."

The recent string of violent incidents involving police officers has prompted the Ministry of Public Security to proclaim that it will be taking a harder-line stand on those involved in any assault or interference on law enforcement.

Source:CRI Editor:Angela