The sudden announcement of the death of Yang Jia, the Beijinger who entered a Shanghai police station armed with a knife, killed 6 officers, and injured 4 others, brought about a storm of online thoughts. The story of Yang is far more complicated than just the facts, it includes having been arrested a few times and roughed up by the police despite his claims of innocence. It shocked many around China, though surprisingly many supported him or, at the very least, could sympathize with him.
I am not surprised by the reaction of working class Chinese, migrant laborers, and others who deal with being looked down on and mistreated by the police and others in power on a regular basis. However, when I saw this passionate entry by the popular middle class, white collar blogger, Wang Jianshuo, who almost never writes anything remotely "political", it did make me do a double take.
It doesn't matter what class you are or what your background is, it seems, abuses of power are just too common in China and people recognize the frustration that must have took over Yang, even if they don't agree with the end result. It is never okay to kill 6 people, but all the facts behind Yang's case (check out Black and White Cat below for more details), make it shocking that the government acted so swiftly, carrying out the execution less than 6 months from when Yang committed the horrific act.
I've been thinking about this for the past few days and I'm still at a loss as to what to say, so read the coverage from other fine sources:
WSJ China Journal
Black and White Cat