Chinese TV shows footage of scuffle before police shooting

AP News
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Posted: May 14, 2015 3:45 AM
Chinese TV shows footage of scuffle before police shooting

BEIJING (AP) — China's main state broadcaster released security camera footage Thursday showing that a man who was fatally shot by a policeman at a train station behaved aggressively and attacked the officer with a long baton before he opened fire.

The edited footage released on China Central Television gives a fuller — but not complete — picture of the scuffles leading up to the May 2 shooting of Xu Chunhe, 45, in the northeastern town of Qing'an, some of which had circulated online from a bystander's video clip.

The incident drew a public outcry over concerns that the policeman used excessive force, and release of the security footage appeared aimed at countering portrayals that it was an unprovoked police attack on the man. Also Thursday, police reaffirmed their conclusion that the shooting was justified.

One of Xu's lawyers, Xie Yanyi, has said that the policeman, Li Lebin, should be investigated on charges of murder. Another lawyer for the family, Li Zhongwei, said the video footage rmay have left out scenes in which Xu is beaten by the policeman.

The security footage shows the man punching the officer in the head and later wrestling away a 2-meter (6-foot)-long baton the officer used to try to subdue him and then using it to attack the officer.

At one point, while the officer is trying to hit the man with the baton, the man picks up his small daughter and holds her in front of himself before hurling her down onto the train station's paved floor.

Li, the police officer, said in an interview with CCTV that Xu was hitting him in the head and in his shooting hand, making it difficult to keep the gun steady. He said he had no choice but to aim his fire at the man because it was a crowded train station where a stray bullet might otherwise have hit a bystander.

Li, the lawyer, said Thursday that the edited video may play up the violence by Xu while downplaying the violence by the policeman. "We believe the full raw video from that day should be released to the public," said Li, who is unrelated to the police officer.

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Associated Press news assistant Yu Bing in Beijing contributed.