China: Good cop/bad cop

A story shared by A-list blogger-journalist Huang Tingzi (黄亭子) about an engineering student recruited by Chinese cops on his campus who—along with four colleagues—one day finds himself quite a bit in over his head:


In university, officer Zhuang majored in wireless communications. Before graduation, he was planning to go into IT, but in the end he happened to pass by a police recruiter and along with one of his classmates decided to sign up. Little did he think that he would quickly be recruited so quickly.



Getting into the police force, as officer Zhuang understood it, was because the police department was busy looking to strengthen the police force through technology, searching all over for people with tech skills. As long as you were a science and technology major, had no physical handicaps, you were pretty much in. And just like that, without having received any training, officer Zhuang was wearing a police uniform, spending every day with old comrades and new coworkers, busy setting up communication lines and inspecting equipment.


One fall afternoon, officer Zhuang went to Yuhuang Mountain to inspect the walkie-talkie transmitter.


Poking through the brush, following a little path in, he was shocked to see that someone had built a shed below the transmitter. He pulled back the shed drapes to see a middle-aged man lying inside, totally messy.


“Hey, what are you doing here lying on the ground like that?”


The man gave him a blank look, didn't speak.


“Did you hear me? I'm talking to you!”



The man turned over and went back to sleep.



Officer Zhuang didn't dare do anything rash. He phoned his superior and asked for backup. Half an hour later, the communications section chief and another colleague showed up. Officer Zhuang worked up his nerve and tried waking up the still-sleeping middle-aged man. The man didn't looking very happy and, still half asleep, sat up, yawned and perplexedly looked at the crowd in front of him.


“Hey, this is police area, what are you doing here?”


The man started at the three people in front of him for a bit, then laid back down.



“You deaf?” Officer Zhuang felt a big loss of face and roared loudly.


The sound of snoring quickly arose, as if mocking his incompetence.



Unable to take care of the filthy man in front of him, officer Zhuang became furious and grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, yanking him up.



At this point, officer Zhuang noticed something a little off about the look in the man's eyes, and realized that he had come across a lunatic, and a violent one at that.


By this time, it was too late.



Officer Zhuang was quickly thrown onto the ground; this man had boundless strength. In the wrestle he quite nearly pulled officer Zhuang's head off. Officer Zhuang is just a pale-faced bookworm, about as strong as a chicken. Facing down such a strong opponent, he could only bow his head and back down.



“Flip him over, cuff him!” the section chief yelled.



The section chief and another out-of-uniform colleague, one tall and skinny, the other deeply near-sighted and wearing glasses, the two of them looking like labratory researchers.



After gaining the upper hand from the first round, the man got worked up, with a nasty look in his eyes, face full of expressions of excitement, and got into a fight-ready pose.


“Damn!” In the instant he hesitated, the colleague's glasses were sent flying.



The section chief jumped at the opening and wrapped both arms around the man's waist. The man struggled like his life depended on it but the section chief's strength slowly began to give out andit looked like he wouldn't be able to hold the man.


“You standing over there watching the fun? Hurry up and give me a hand!”


Officer Zhuang and two others rushed over, each grabbing an arm. The man said, “more people isn't going to help. Hey!” and with one big push, shook his hands free. He grabbed a club and started swinging.



The three police backed off, and ran out of the brush, the three of them covered in dirt, all looking rather flustered, pissed right off.



“Let's call 911,” officer Zhuang said.


“No way, with things this screwed up, you want to call them over to laugh at us?” The section chief vetoed this proposal.


Half an hour late, another two colleagues showed up, at the same time bringing with them handcuffs and police rope.


“Boys, let's get in there!”


The police moved in spent almost twenty minutes in a game of tug of war against the stubbornly-resisting man. Finally all seven arms and eight legs got him pinned down on the ground.

“上铐。” 科长下令,庄警官立即扑了上去,把手铐套在了汉子手腕上。

“Cuff him,” the section chief ordered. Officer Zhuang rushed over and put the cuffs on the man's wrists.


“Okay.” Officer Zhuang stood up and clapped his hands; this was his first time to handcuff somebody, he was very excited.


The man stood up and the handcuffs slid right off his hands.



The handcuffs were broken.



“Tie him up right away.” was pretty much what the police on the scene said.


After a short skirmish, the five police once again had the madman pinned on the ground. A group of people had already gathered around them.



As they were tying him up, the police noticed that not a single one among them knew how to use the police rope. Every time they almost had him roped, the madman could always easily break loose. Three tries later, the madman fell on the ground laughing loudly. The locals standing around watching were laughing too.


The section chief said to pull off the madman's pants, pull out the belt and use that to tie his arms behind his back.



Officer Zhuang once again volunteered. After pulling off the madman's pants, they saw his colored underwear, and noticed that the madman didn't have a belt on. Thecomedy of the scene was too much, neither the people watching or the police themselves could help but laugh.



One good citizen stood up and pulled out the shoelace on one of the madman's feet. After getting permission from the police, tied the madman's two thumbs together.


“Get up. Move.”



The police car was parked a hundred meters away.


Just as they were almost to the police car, the madman lifted one arm and laughed. The shoelace had come loose.



Officer Zhuang's automatic reflex was to push the madman down, but found he wasn't nearly strong enough to take on this guy. The other few coworkers there had recovered their strength and formed a group of four or five.


After a long struggle they found themselves matched. The madman had no way to escape, and the several police had no way to subdue him. There were only the passersby on the side watching the excitement and making comments.





Then, the unexpected happened. The madman said, “you open the door, I'll go in myself. Bloody fed up with all this!”



Halfway down the mountain, officer Zhuang asked the section leader for a cigarette. He blew out a mouth of smoke, then sighed, “us, we're not cut out for arresting people.”

From cops in the bushes to thought cops in the bookstores, a post from Tianya blogger Self Made So Clear about the closure of a prominent bookstore in the capitol of Eastern China's Zhejiang province, and some background on the not-so-clear reasons it's gone:


On October 19, Mr. Gu said, “On page 46 of today's Metropolis Daily’ was the report ‘Hangzhou Will No Longer Have Sanlian‘. The report says: last week was the biggest surprise when Hangzhou's Sanlian bookstore closed shop. A month after the closure of the wholesale department of Hangzhou's Cultural Shopping Mall, Sanlian bookstore on Hangda Road has also been swept away. Sanlian's crisis began in June. At the time I was in Xinjiang taking part in the national book trade fair. I heard the news from Hangzhou, that Sanlian bookstore was having some troubles. Reportedly, the problems started with pirated and illegally-published books. Following this, there were any rumours about Sanlian. In August I was at the Shanghai book trade fair and met some heads of marketing departments for Beijing publishing houses. After the book trade fair ended they went straight to Hangzhou and took their own books off the shelves at Sanlian.
Purportedly, this was to reduce the risk, to keep Sanlian from being shut down and ending up unable to settle accounts. For the last two to three months, no new books have been brought into Sanlian and sales are dying off. News about the bookstore and it's coming closure spread through the industry. But last week Sanlian decided to shut itself down, return the stock and shut its doors, to many people's surprise. Prior to this, people were thinking that Sanlian might be able to pull through and keep going, after all this is a big name in Hangzhou's book business……the day I went to Sanlian, they were just taking care of the last few items of stock; the bookstore was completely empty, not a sound in the air, as though autumn had already come. All the staff looked dignified, gazing around or standing or sitting, like they didn't believe what they were seeing. Purportedly, as the company's Sanlian Hangzhou is about to be written off, the brand ‘Sanlian’ has been taken back by Sanlian Beijing—Sanlian Hangzhou is no more. Sanlian's former address might become Hangzhou's Literature and History Bookstore. The old Literature and History Bookstore which used to be on Wensan road, has just been demolished and is now searching for a new space.


江先生9月6日从网上发来一份《稽查快报》(杭州市文化市场行政执法总队办公室编)其中一段这样写道:”三是以查处大要案件为突破点整治出版物市场。6 月21日至23日,总队积极配合市公安局经济文化保卫支队,联合查处了杭州生活?读书?新知三联书店违法经营政治性非法出版物案件,共收缴《晚年周恩来》(高文谦)、《党史笔记》(何方)、《邓力群自述:十二个春秋》(邓力群)、《毛泽东私人医生回忆录》(李志绥)等非法政治性书刊4种426本。目前总队与公安机关已就此案成立专案组展开全面调查,追踪来源,全力追缴已流向社会的部分政治性非法出版物。”江先生说:”最后一段很有意思:'下一阶段,我们将继续保持高压态势,围绕网吧、出版物、娱乐场所等重点积极开展各项整治工作,加大对违法经营活动的查处力度,在实践中进一步探讨和尝试创新监管方式,为解决文化市场存在问题做出应有的贡献。'”

On September 6, Mr. Jiang e-mailed a section of an article from one newspaper regarding the squad responsible for executive administration of the cultural marketplace in Hangzhou, which reads, “3. By way of investigating and punishing major crimes, break up and repair the publication market. From June 21 to 23, the squad's active collaboration with the municipal public security detachment responsible for economic and cultural safeguarding led a joint investigation into the Hangzhou Life/Reader/New Knowledge Sanlian Bookstore's illegal sales of political and illegally-published publication, capturing 426 copies in total of such books as Gao Wenqian‘s ‘Zhou Enlai‘s Later Years‘, He Fang's ‘Notes on The Party History‘, Deng Liqun‘s ‘Deng Liqun's Own Account: Twelve Springs and Autumns‘, Li Zhisui‘s ‘Memoirs from Mao Zedong's Private Physician‘ and other such illegal political publications. At present a special investigations group has been set up between the squad and police forces to carry out a full-scale investigation to track down the sources and work to retrieve the share of political illegal publications which have already leaked into society with the best of our abilities.
“Mr. Jiang says, ‘the last segment is very interesting: ‘in the next phase we will continue to maintain a high-pressure state, revolving around internet bars, publications, entertainment venues and other such focal points in actively carrying out each item of regulation work, increasing the investigative force against illegal business operations, carrying out further investigations and trying innovative supervision methods and make the appropriate dedications to resolving the problems that exist in the cultural marketplace.””

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