UPROAR OVER MAN’S MURDER CONVICTION
Chinese Netizens debate case of son who killed debt collector while protecting mum
BEIJING to death a man who had beaten and humiliated his mother.
In a country where law enforcement is weak and frequently seen as corrupt, some Web users saw his actions as a proportionate and justified response when police failed to step in.
Others had insisted that “the law is the law”, and Yu should serve his full term.
Public fury had reached such a feverish pitch that the Supreme People’s Procuratorate, China’s highest investigation agency, had opened a rare probe into the incident.
Court documents revealed that Yu’s mother, Su Yinxia, had borrowed more than one million yuan (RM640,103) for her auto parts manufacturing company from a real-estate developer.
Little by little, she told police, she had paid him back 1.5 million yuan. But the 10 per cent monthly interest payments kept piling up, making it difficult for her to get out from her debt.
The developer, Wu Xuezhan — who had reportedly been detained for connections to organised crime — sent a gang of loan collectors to Su’s factory in April 2015, where, Su said, they began yelling at her and her son.
Yu said a man named Du Zhihao then exposed himself.
A policeman arrived a short time later, witnesses claimed.
But rather than stepping in to stop the abuse, he issued a mild warning: “If you’re here to settle debts, don’t fight, don’t use your fists. Just talk it out.”
After the officer left, a fracas erupted. Su insisted that the debt collectors started the violence. But Yu finished it, pulling out a fruit knife and stabbing four of the men, including Du, who died from blood loss.
Yu was convicted of intentionally causing harm that resulted in death, and sentenced to life.
Wu had since been arrested for gang-related activities, according to local media.
Much of the discussion on social media centred on whether the country’s rule of law had deteriorated to the extent that children needed to step in to protect their parents when authorities failed to help.
“If the law doesn’t bring justice to this kind of person, what is the law for, anyway?” asked one user on the Weibo social network.
“If anyone dared to do that to my mum, I’d kill them right away,” wrote another.
It was a sticky issue for the government, which had strongly promoted filial piety — even passing laws requiring children to visit their parents.
In an unusual critique of law enforcement, the nationalistic Global Times on Sunday called for Yu to receive a fair sentence.
“We welcome the Supreme People’s Procuratorate’s probe into whether Yu was legitimately acting in self-defence, and whether the police officer’s behaviour can be considered a dereliction of duty,” the column said. AFP