Driver Arrested for Impersonating a Chinese Cop… in California; Related to Hong Kong Protests?
This could be case of a holster-sniffing wannabe of an exotic variety, or it could be an international incident.
You’re probably aware of folks who like to drive around in former police cruisers carrying as much cop-car equipment as the local officials will let pass without issuing a citation for impersonating a police officer. It’s not a trivial issue to law enforcement because some folks do go over the line into actually impersonating authorities, including committing crimes under cover of fraudulent authority.
What, then, to make of the man arrested by the California Highway Patrol who was driving around Irvine in a black Audi sedan with very authentic-looking decals for China’s People’s Armed Police?
CHP’s Santa Ana post put out the following post on Facebook:
CHP responded to several complaints regarding a male Asian driver driving a black Audi in the city of Irvine impersonating the Chinese National Police. The Audi had Chinese Police symbols and the Chinese National Seal. The driver was arrested and charged with impersonating a peace officer and for forging/possessing a fraudulent public seal.
Any person or victim with information regarding this crime is encouraged to contact the California Highway Patrol, Santa Ana Office, at 714-567-6000.
The identity of the driver, who is Asian, was not released. CHP officials told KTLA that they were investigating reports of a second similar-looking vehicle driving around Irvine.
This isn’t the first such arrest in the Golden State. Earlier this summer, police in northern California arrested another Asian driver whose car was marked with Chinese characters, after the person tried to pull over someone who turned out to be an off-duty cop.
Why would someone be driving around a California city trying to look like a Chinese paramilitary militia member? Well, over 40 percent of Irvine’s population is Asian, many of them Chinese natives, with family members in China.
Last month, the Australian Broadcasting Company reported that fake Chinese police cars were seen driving in Perth and Adelaide. The sightings raised concerns about the Chinese government or its supporters possibly trying to intimidate Chinese expatriates in Australia who might have been supporting the ongoing democracy protests in Hong Kong. When officials were able to identify one of the drivers, he said it was a joke. Apparently, it’s only illegal in Australia to impersonate an Australian police officer.
You may have seen photos of some of the PAP’s armored personnel carriers massing just over the border from Hong Kong as protests in that former British Colony have continued.
Black Audis are favored by government officials in China, and the People’s Armed Police, the Te Jing, do drive black vehicles.
If you’ve spent any time online in discussion of China, you may have noticed that there are cadres of Chinese nationalists, and not a few Western apologists for the Chinese Communist Party, eager to rebut anything that’s at all critical of China, the Chinese government, or Xi Jinping, the Chinese dictator. China’s government expresses its “soft power” in many ways.
It’s not outside the realm of possibilities that the man arrested in Irvine is just a Te Jing wannabe, but how would you bet?
[Image: California Highway Patrol, YouTube]
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