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Man Dies While in Custody: What Happened
   2016-05-11 19:14:31    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Fei Fei

A file photo of Lei Yang 

Lei Yang, 29, father of a baby girl less than a month old, was found dead while in custody of the suburban BeijingĄ¯s Changping police on Saturday evening. What exactly happened during the two hours leading up the death has become the subject of nationwide scrutiny.

We organized the timeline of Lei Yang's death, based on the police's statements (that are marked in coral) and information from Lei's family (in navy), and how it got hotly debated online.


May 7, 2016

8:00 P.M.

Police in Changping District in Beijing received reports saying a foot massage parlor was running prostitution business. The plain clothes police initiated a probe into the parlor.

Lei Yang, the 29 year old researcher, is said to be at home playing with his mobile phone, according to his family. His relatives were arriving in the capital to see his newly born daughter.

8:30 P.M.

Lei Yang's father-in-law hastened him to go to the airport as the flight would arrive at 11:30 that night, said his wife.

Lei was communicating with his colleagues on WeChat, according to one of them. So they assumed Lei was still at home.

The foot massage parlor

8:40 P.M.

The plain clothes police arrived at the foot massage porlar.

9:00 P.M.

Lei Yang left home and told his father-in-law that he would take the subway to the airport, said his family.

9:14 P.M.

Police officers found Lei Yang was about to leave the porlar and detained Lei on suspicion of soliciting prostitution. But Lei refused to cooperate with the investigation and "fiercely" resisted arrest, according to a second statement from the police.

Lei bit one of the officers and knocked down the mobile phone carried by the police to film a video of the process.

The police took Lei Yang onto their car and drove to the police station.

He was put in a police car, but on the way to the police station he attempted to exit the vehicle, moved from the back seat to the passenger seat and kicked the driver.

Lei opened the car door to try to escape again.

9:45 P.M.

Lei Yang was handcuffed by the police and brought back to the car.

The hospital where Lei Yang was given emergency treatment

10:05 P.M.

Lei Yang was sent to the emergency room of a nearby hospital after being found unwell on the way.

10:55 P.M.

Lei Yang was pronounced dead in the hospital.

11:00 P.M.

Lei Yang's family received a phone call from his relatives saying they did not see Lei at the airport.

Lei's wife tried to call him but was not answered.

She said she made more than 40 phone calls to Lei after 11:30 pm because he failed to meet the relatives at the airport.

May 8, 2016

1:00 A.M.

Lei's family received a call from the police asking them to go the police station.

1:30 A.M.

Lei's wife and father-in-law arrived at the police station and was told about Lei's death.

3:00 A.M.

Lei's family was brought to the hospital by the police and saw Lei Yang's body.

They found bruises and wounds on her husband's body, said Lei's wife. 

May 9-10, 2016

The police released a short statement online, saying that Lei was arrested for prostitution visits but died suddenly on the way to the police station.

Lei's relatives posted an item on social media questioning the official statement.

The family's questions went viral on the internet this week, triggering public debate over whether a private citizen should be entitled to detailed information when a family member is held by the police.

May 11, 2016

Beijing police issued another statement via its weibo account, giving details of the arrest and death of Lei Yang.

They also reponded to the suspicions raised online through an interview with the People's Daily.

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