Saturday, 19 December 2009

Dead Drunk

Dead drunk policeman stripped of martyrdom

The Chinese police captain who named his subordinate a "martyr" after he died from a drinking binge has been suspended, the Shenzhen Public Security Authority said on Tuesday.

Traffic officer Chen Lusheng of the southern city of Shenzhen was off-duty when he attended a banquet with officials from Mabu village in late October. After repeated toasts, he vomited and passed out on a couch, where he suffocated, state media said.

His captain, Xie Feiyong, attempted to declare Chen a martyr, in order to get higher compensation for his family and possibly to avert any investigation into his death. He was suspended from duty on Tuesday, the Xinhua news agency said, citing the police.

The Shenzhen government information office did not immediately answer a query on the matter.

Shenzhen police told local media the policeman was a victim of China's infamous Chinese business banquet ganbei or "bottoms up" culture, where diners attempt to out-drink each other to gain concessions. They did not explain why Chen was attending the banquet in the first place.

Forced drinking is so widespread that workplace injuries regulations in the southwestern city of Chongqing were recently amended to classify deaths caused by drinking as "workplace accidents" bosses send staff out drinking for business.

Xie argued that Chen died in a work-related incident and that there was nothing wrong in wanting to leave behind a glorious legacy for his colleague.

The application for the posthumous honor was denied by the District Brigade, on grounds that Chen died neither in the line of duty nor during work hours.

Chen's family, who are demanding 4.8 million yuan ($703,200) in compensation, had camped out in the police station and set up a mourning hall there.

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