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Int'l Incident as Houston Police Arrest Diplomat in Consulate Parking Lot

Int'l Incident as Houston Police Arrest Diplomat in Consulate Parking Lot

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Associated Press

April 30, 2010

DALLAS – Three Houston police officers have been restricted to desk duty after they followed a Chinese diplomat into the parking garage of the Chinese Consulate, arrested the man and injured him, the Houston mayor said.

Mayor Annise Parker said in a statement that the officers’ duties will remain limited pending an investigation into how Chinese diplomat Yu Boren was injured last Saturday.

Officials in China’s Foreign Ministry released a statement Friday saying police harassed and beat a deputy consul-general while he was driving to the consulate. The statement said a family member also was involved, but did not say if that person was injured.

The consulate in Houston did not immediately return a message left by The Associated Press. Houston police and the U.S. State Department are investigating the incident.

“China urges the U.S. … to quickly investigate the details of this incident and to look into the persons responsible to ensure that the Chinese diplomatic and consulate personnel and premises are not violated,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said in a statement. “The Chinese Foreign Ministry, the Chinese Embassy and the Houston consulate have already made solemn exchanges with the U.S. side.”

Under international practice, the premises of foreign embassies and consulates are outside the jurisdiction of local law enforcement, and diplomats have legal immunity.

Houston police tried to stop a car that was missing a license plate, CBS News reported. When the car didn’t stop, they pursued it into a garage. Police handcuffed and arrested the driver, injuring him, the report said. CBS News identified the official as Ben Ren Yu. The Houston consulate website lists a deputy consul-general, Yu Boren.

The officers said they were unaware they had pursued the diplomat into the Chinese Consulate’s parking garage, Parker said.

The U.S. State Department was taking the matter very seriously and the findings of the investigation will be shared with China “as soon as appropriate,” said Susan Stevenson, spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Beijing.

A Houston police spokesman declined to comment. The police force did not immediately respond to a request for a copy of the offense report, which typically is not released while an incident remains under investigation.

U.S.-China relations only recently emerged from a tense period aggravated by spats over U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, trade and China’s currency policy. Comments on at least two major Internet portals had apparently been deleted, an indication the case was considered sensitive, perhaps because of its impact on U.S.-China ties.

Houston’s police chief has ordered officers to receive a list of addresses for every consulate in the city.

“This is important as Houston has the third-largest number of consulates in the country,” Parker said. “We cherish our international residents and want to assure them they are welcome in our city.”


Associated Press Writer Anita Chang in Beijing contributed to this report.


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  • Scannedimage_sq90_max50

    Texlawman

    over 4 years ago

    650 Comments

    Hell Washington let the China's spies do what they want! Hell of a DEAL," WE NEED TO CLEAN HOUSE IN NOVEMBER"! The three lost thier jobs according to the Houston Chronicle, and probably will get prosecuted to boot! Sad deal!

  • Cdcr_badge_max50

    SERT0629

    over 4 years ago

    474 Comments

    THIS IS A HORRIBLE SITUATION ALL THE WAY AROUND. SOME OF THESE "DIPLOMATS" ARE THE BIGGEST CROOKS AROUND AND WE CANT DO A THING.
    GOOD LUCK TO ALL THE OFFICERS

  • Angel_kincaid_park_2014_max50

    AKangel

    over 4 years ago

    4972 Comments

    WOW! This just stinks, Hope the officers keep their jobs. GOOD LUCK GUYS...

  • Plmb2s3sk_max600_max50

    s3sk

    over 4 years ago

    3308 Comments

    This situation just sucks plain and simple. No one wins.

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    over 4 years ago

    19382 Comments

    The Diplomat was not "hit" in the head. Restrained, yes.

  • Steve_mcqueen_max50

    ilegworldchamp

    over 4 years ago

    8966 Comments

    An up dated version of this story is listed "Officers investigated over Chinese diplomat's injury". Video surveillance cameras should tell the story.

  • Night_of_blue_lights_1_max50

    PIP9132

    over 4 years ago

    412 Comments

    they made a mistake, if they were acting in good faith then they should be left alone. China should tell its diplomats to be more cooperative with our local law enforcement cause when things go wrong they are gonna want our help.

  • Steve_mcqueen_max50

    ilegworldchamp

    over 4 years ago

    8966 Comments

    Before I got carried away with the what if? , I looked up on the below listed web site from the U.S.State Department what was published about going onto Foreign Soil of the Consulate. I needed to get carried away because of some miss information , either by the listing on the State Departments information , or some departmental rules.
    Retlo is correct about the process of apologies and ass kissing along with the appearance of punishment for the officers. The Law is rather clear about "KNOWN DIPLOMATIC PERSONS" , however it is not real clear about Territorial entrance. According to the story , no "BOUNDARY LINE , GATE , OR CARDED ENTRY WAS NEEDED FOR ENTRY TO THE GARAGE". Once the DIPLOMATS I.D. VERIFIED HE WAS IN FACT A DIPLOMAT THEN HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN RELEASED. Please copy and post the link I have provided and it would appear by at least on account of the story that the Officers did the right thing. (THAT MIGHT BE WHY THEY ARE ON DESK DUTY AND NOT SUSPENDED HAD THEY DONE SOMETHING WRONG). Now the Chinese Governments version is quite different . "Officials in China’s Foreign Ministry released a statement Friday saying police harassed and beat a deputy consul-general while he was driving to the consulate. The statement said a family member also was involved, but did not say if that person was injured."
    I have no ax to grind either way on this because I am retired. I am only looking for information to make sure some Officers are put in a like position in the future with a (NON DIPLOMAT TAKING REFUGE IN A PROTECTED SANCTUARY). It is always preferred to "BACK OFF THE UNKNOWN" because of situations just like this. Nobody wants to loose a job over an arrest but "KNOWING THE LIMITS" of you abilities will keep you away from loosing that job.
    THE EXCEPTION RULING UNDER ITEM #04 WOULD APPEAR TO VINDICATE THE OFFICERS AS LONG AS THEY RELEASED FROM CUSTODY UPON PROOF OF DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY. Thats my rational for what ifs based on a real criminal seeking refuge that does not have immunity. Thats why the State Department makes up these informative charts.
    THE BEST INFORMATION I COULD COME UP WITH IS FOR ANY DEPARTMENT HAVING A CONSULATE WITHIN YOUR TERRITORY , TO ASK YOU FEDERAL ATTORNEYS OFFICE HOW BEST TO PROCEED IN ANY SCENARIO THAT IS THOUGHT UP , PRIOR TO RATHER THEN AFTER THE FACT. Best of luck guys and girls.

    http://www.state.gov/m/ds/immunities/c9127.htm

  • Aaa_max50

    beejac

    over 4 years ago

    1424 Comments

    If Houston has that many embassies, the officers should have been trained to understand Diplomatic Immunity. I agree with fplasencia on this one.

  • Bayou_032_max50

    UNIT111D

    over 4 years ago

    478 Comments

    my experience with diplomats is that they are difficult to deal with

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    over 4 years ago

    Funny how the Chinese government is so worried about that official's rights, but they routinely run rough shot over their own citizens !

  • Th_detective_max50

    Retleo

    over 4 years ago

    5524 Comments

    What if, what if, what if.........stop with the what if's and just deal with the information provided in the article. Making up, and discussing "What If" scenarios is a waste of time and energy! The Chinese will act all offended and indignant, the U.S. Government will kiss their ass and apologize profusely. The fate of the officers remains to be determined, not speculated about!

  • Uniform_max50

    erosson27

    over 4 years ago

    442 Comments

    The Parking garage could be considered Chinese Territory, what if the Chinese push for extradition; the U.S may have no choice but to hand them over.

  • Uniform_max50

    erosson27

    over 4 years ago

    442 Comments

    These officers have made a very bad mistake and the Police Chief may have no choice but to throw them to the wolves.

  • Badge__hat_max50

    Baxter2

    over 4 years ago

    1846 Comments

    Nothing a little beer summit at the WH wouldn't solve......surely.

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