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October 21, 2009

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Journalist: police lied in report on crash

POLICE authorities of Luoyang City in central China's Henan Province said a journalist allegedly beaten and detained by officers after his attempt to report on a car accident was under the influence of alcohol and making trouble at the scene.

The journalist has vehemently denied both claims.

A press release by Luoyang police released on Monday said Zhang Jinxing and another man, Tian Yichen, both strongly smelling of alcohol, were seen taking photos at the scene of a three-car pileup about 10pm on Saturday when officers from Xibeiyu police station were dealing with the emergency.

Zhang then collided with cabbie Wang Jianwei when he was taking photos extremely close to Wang's face, the release said.

Zhang also "chased Wang and beat him."

At the same time, Tian put officer Wang Zhigang in a headlock, the release said.

Zhang and Tian were then taken to the police station in handcuffs.

Both of them, drunk and unstable, refused to cooperate with police, the release said.

However, a video clip online showed officers surrounding and beating Zhang.

Tian and Zhang were reportedly assaulted in a police car on the way to the station.

Zhang has facial injuries and handcuff cuts on his wrists. Tian said officers beat him with rubber batons and bruises covered his thighs.

Both of them were released the next day.

Luoyang police said Wang Zhigang, commissar of the police station, had been suspended pending further investigation.

Zhang told China News Service the press release was a lie and he didn't cause any trouble at the accident.

He also denied he was under the influence of alcohol.

Tian said he was a passer-by and tried to prevent Wang Zhigang beating Zhang.


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