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Social Unrest over Man’s Death

A driver died during a traffic incident sparking an incident of social unrest that pitted several thousand people against the authorities in Luzhou, Sichuan. According to Huanqiu, which reprinted the version that the local government publicized, the traffic police directed the driver to move his vehicle, which was illegally parked, but the driver refused. The driver did not feel well and, after taking some medicine, died on site. The Luzhou government “reminded the residents that they should not believe or spread any rumors.”

Xinhua later reported that, during the incident, about a thousand people gathered. Some of them were emotional and attacked police vehicles. They overturned seven vehicles and set five of them on fire. Two were entirely burned as a result. “After patient persuasion, the driver’s relatives voluntarily brought the body to the city funeral home. … During the incident, Public Security took custody of 20 people and no one was injured or died.” The local government hoped the residents would not believe or spread rumors.

[Editor’s note: According to online miniblog posts, the 57-year-old man argued with the police who then pushed and kicked him, leading to his death. This incident occurred within three weeks of the Eighteenth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.]   

Huanqiu, October 18, 2012
Xinhua, October 18, 2012