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Urban management officers penalized over alleged beating


08:04, June 06, 2013

XI'AN, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Ten urban management officers have been penalized for their roles in the alleged beating of a shop owner in northwest China's Shaanxi Province, local authorities said Wednesday.

Eight officers who were present at the time of the alleged beating, as well as two of their supervisors, were given Party or administrative disciplinary sanctions and two officers have been detained by police, the government of Yan'an said in a press release.

A video clip that has been widely circulated online since earlier this week shows a group of urban management officers fighting with the owner of a bicycle shop, with one officer jumping on the man's head after he was knocked to the ground.

The video has sparked a fresh round of criticism targeting urban management officers, who are responsible for handling urban management issues that are not handled by other government departments. Their work ranges from evicting unlicensed vendors from sidewalks to demolishing illegally erected buildings.

However, they are often criticized for the heavy-handed and occasionally violent tactics they use to enforce the law.

Li Qiang, deputy secretary-general of the municipal government, said the skirmish happened on May 31, when a squad of officers was on patrol.

The officers engaged in a brawl with the owner of the bicycle shop while trying to seize bicycles that were illegally parked on the sidewalk. The shop owner and a female officer were injured in the brawl, Li said.

Li said the city government has set up a team to investigate the case and a campaign has been launched to rectify the working style of the city's urban management officers.

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