Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Public Outraged over Security Guard Killing Bank Customer

The bank in Shenyang where a customer was shot by security guard

Thousands of people have posted comments on online forums in China, expressing their shock and rage over the killing of a customer by a finance guard in a bank in Shenyang, Liaoning.

Ji Cheng, a 33-year-old man of Shenyang, was shot dead on Saturday after failing to stop upon the request of a bank security guard.

He went to the bank that afternoon to withdraw some money and then walked his way to the door, when a security guard asked him to stop, because the bank was in the process of transferring cash onto a vehicle to be escorted to where the money will be stored. On duty were officers from the Finance Guard Center of Shenyang, a unit run by Shenyang Police Department and providing services like money escorting and guarding banks.

Mr. Ji told the security guard that he was in a rush to do something and had to leave, and the guard said to him, “Are you pretending to be an a…hole? I will shot you if you walk one more step.”

“I am going to walk one more step. I will see what he can do,” Mr. Ji told his friend who was with him in the bank, and kept walking, according to Southern Metropolis Daily.

The security guard then called outside for help, and Zhu Honglin, an armed guard, rushed in and shot Mr. Ji in the face. Mr. Ji died instantly.

“The sky is about to fall!” One person wrote on a forum upon reading the news, which was first broken out on an online forum. “Upon reading [the story], I feel chill all over. Life is treated like a grass. Where can you and I find a safe place?”

The poster is not alone in being stunned and appalled by the incident and concerned for personal safety even at a public place like a bank. Hundreds of others posted similar comments.

But people are not just terrified. Rather, they are infuriated. The reactions demonstrate Chinese people's increasing sensitiveness to citizen rights as well as possible violation of such rights by authorities.

Many online comments condemned the guard for abusing his power as a member of a police-associated entity and his privilege of caring a gun, and called for justice and respect for citizens’ rights.

Calling the killing a “murder,” people asked over and over again: “Who gave the security guard the right to kill innocent people?” “Is it necessary to open fire to an unarmed man?” Even if a shot is inevitable, “is it necessary to shot the head?”

They also questioned the legitimacy of the shot because Mr. Ji apparently was not posing any threat and did not use any violence. The guard should have at least fired an empty shot to warn him first, instead of killing him right away, people say.

Only a handful of posts argued that the guard was just doing his job. One officer of the Finance Guard Center was killed during a bank robbery in 2003, and some people argued that officers were operating under tight nerves.

Mr. Zhu Honglin, the 25-year-old officer who fired the lethal shot, has been in police custody “under criminal charges,” and investigation is underway, local media reported.

Online comments


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