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Fatal beating puts spotlight on security guards

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The unexplained beating to death of a 17-year-old Kunming boy has sparked outrage locally and across the Chinese internet, while raising questions about the relationship between private security companies and local governments.

According to local media reports, Fu Guojun (符国俊) was eating with a friend at an outdoor barbecue stand in the town of Dabanqiao (大板桥镇) in southern Kunming's Guandu district at 2am on October 7 when he was suddenly surrounded by a group of at least 30 security guards who surrounded the two and beat them until they were unable to move.

At 7am Fu was pronounced dead at a local hospital. His friend, Cui Wenhao (崔文豪), was seriously injured.

Police were reportedly on the scene shortly after Fu's beating, where they were maintaining order. According to a People's Net report, Cui's father said the guards remained on the scene around 2:30am.

"We asked them why they had beaten him and one man told us 'Don't ask me, go look for our higher-ups to sort this out. We beat the wrong person – we'll pay the medical bills.' Then they began to chant 'One, two, one, two' and left hastily. We followed them in a car until they entered the [Dabanqiao] subdistrict office."

At 4:30pm on October 7, more than 200 of Fu's friends and family surrounded the subdistrict office where 36 security guards believed to be involved in the fatal beating were being detained and questioned by police, as well as protected from the angry crowd. Among the crowd was Fu's father, Fu Kun (符昆), who showed reporters bloodied metal pipes and wooden clubs that he said were murder weapons. After two hours, the crowd had been dispersed.

Dabanqiao Police Station Captain Wang Jianghai (王江海) released a statement to media stating that the angry crowd was impeding the investigation into Fu's death, adding that four men believed to be responsible for the incident had been detained. Wang also said that the security guards had an employment relationship with the subdistrict office.

Chinese media outlets have speculated that the guards may have worked as chengguan in Dabanqiao. Chengguan, or city management officers, have become increasingly disliked in Kunming in recent years due to high-profile incidents including using a car to back over and drag a deaf man and an altercation with a 56-year-old fruit vendor that led to a minor riot.

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When are they going to wake-up and do away with ChengGuan? Sooner or later, they are going to cause a major riot!

It turns out that there may have been a third beating victim and the security guards may have been from a nearby KTV, but media reports on the matter have been all over the place. This post/video on Shanghaiist sums up the Chinese media's rather difficult job:


Par for the course!


A Great Achievement: Management, ChengGuan, Blood

Vendors without licence are illegal, arguably also unhealthy and therefore dangerous. Ridding the streets of illegal vendors should be applauded and non controversial, as it is in many world cities where LEGAL vendors are a welcome backdrop who provide a service.

But Kunming is becoming an increasingly sanitised and heartless city. Where once the streets were blocked by vendors, now they are blocked by enormous SUVs, vans, normal cars and even buses. WELL DONE, a great achievement!

An achievement brought about, on many occasions, at arms length by bullies, hooligans and criminals, and paid for in animosity and blood. Semi-legal thuggery has become acceptable and the lines are blurred between private 'security' and ChengGuan. It's difficult to differentiate, and today the parents of Fu Guojun will find it hard to differentiate.

Thinking about a seventeen year old life being ended in such a way makes me feel physically ill even though I knew nothing of Fu Guojun. Parents everywhere tonight will be concerned their son or daughter will be the next victim. Rid the streets of Chenguan, security guards and thugs. Let the police take their rightful place and let them earn and regain respect. Otherwise a permanent cloud will remain over the City of Eternal Spring.

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