Four Beijing police officers have been fired and seven others disciplined in relation to the case of Lei Yang, an environmental researcher who mysteriously died while in police custody in May, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Lei was detained by police on the night of May 7 for allegedly soliciting a prostitute at a foot massage parlor. The 29 year old died in a Beijing hospital later that night, but the reason for his death was shrouded in mystery.
At the time, police claimed Lei suffered a heart attack while in custody. Lei’s family, however, noticed bruises on his body and filed a formal complaint alleging police misconduct and abuse on May 17. It is now being reported that Li choked on his own vomit.
The case has made headlines around the world and sparked outrage on social media for the past six months, with many alleging police brutality and misconduct.
The five Beijing officers who initially arrested Lei on the night of the incident have been under investigation since June. Last week prosecutors announced that no charges would be filed against the police officers, causing a new wave of outrage.
On Thursday, the Beijing Public Security Bureau made the announcement on their official Weibo account that four of the officers had been fired, and the fifth officer has been reassigned.
Six higher-ranking officials were also reprimanded – and even demoted – for their involvement in the case, including a deputy district chief.
[Image via The Guardian]