Apology for hit-and-run seen as 'show'

0 CommentsPrint E-mail Global Times, October 25, 2010
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Criticism against the son of a ranking public security official who hit two university students with his car in Hebei Province has not subsided despite both father and son making public apologies.

The son, Li Qiming, and father Li Gang, a deputy director of the public security bureau in Baoding, offered an apology Thursday to the victims of the accident, but the victims' families accused the two of "putting on a show."

Criticism against the Li's family emerged October 16 after Li Qiming, driving a black Volkswagen Magotan, hit two female students at Hebei University. The son continued to drive on after hitting the two students, one of whom later died. When Li was stopped by campus security guards, he yelled, "Li Gang is my father."

In an apology recorded by China Central Television, son Li Qiming expressed remorse about the incident. "I owe a lot to the victims," he said.

The father also said he has not been able to eat or sleep over the past few days.

"I am extremely sorry that my son has done such a terrible thing, which has brought so much pain to the victims," he said.

The apology was rejected by the victims' families. Beijing Times reported that the elder brother of the deceased student, Chen Xiaofeng, believed the apology was a political stunt.

"Considering the current public opinions about the incident, their appearance on TV looks more like they are trying to rouse public sympathy," the brother said.

Chen said his mother has been in hospital since the death of her daughter due to her extreme grief.

Lao Kaisheng, a professor with the School of Education at Beijing Normal University, told the Global Times that a public backlash is to be expected.

"It is not only illegal, but also immoral to hit and run. What made it worse was he thought being the son of a public security official could get him off the hook. He believes so much in power, yet shows no sympathy for people's lives. It's hard to believe his apology was a sincere one."

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