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"Officer Beating Chinese Tourist" United States of America Warnings Or Dangers Tip by miss_eighty

WASHINGTON, July 26 (Xinhuanet) -- A US State Department official said here on Monday that Secretary of State Colin Powell had a telephone conversation with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing over the beating of a Chinese tourist at Niagara Falls near the US-Canadian border.

Zhao Yan, a Chinese business woman from Tianjin, was on her first US business trip. She was attacked at Niagara Falls near the US-Canadian border on July 21 by officers of US Customs and Border Protection in disregard of normal checking procedures.

On Friday, Zhao told a press conference that she and two friends were passing a row of rooms when a uniformed officer waved to them to come in.

But she barely had time to react in the room when one of the officers pounced at her and sprayed her with pepper spray. The officer then struck her head on the ground while holding her hair and kicked her on the head when she was forced to kneel on the ground.

Zhao had bumps and bruises on her face and head and her eyes were nearly swollen shut. She was taken to hospital for treatment and later released.

The incident, however, put her to great panic and despair.

The officer, named Robert Rhodes, claimed he mistakenly believed Zhao was involved in an illegal drug deal. In a written statement, he said he grabbed a Chinese woman and two others ran when he asked them to come into the inspection station, and sprayed her with pepper spray when she swung her arms at him.

Rohodes was charged Friday with violating Zhao's civil rights. If convicted of the charge, he could face up to 10 years in prison.

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  • Written Jul 28, 2004
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