Chen Xintao
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Framed in China

Chen Xintao was jailed for the 2001slaying of a business associate in Fuzhou, China. He spent years in prison. But the real killers turned out to be local police officers working on behalf of a powerful businessman who had paid off a deputy police chief. “I am a veteran Communist Party member and respected businessman,” Chen said. “If I can’t even protect my private property or personal safety, you can imagine the helplessness of the average Chinese citizen.” (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
A newspaper clipping from 2001 details the slaying of Bian Lizhong. Chen Xintao was wrongly accused of the killing. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Bian Lizhong was a 32-year-old entrepreneur in the home-improvement business who naively believed any stalemate could be settled with a good negotiator, his family and friends said. Bian was shot 47 times. ()
Bian Lizhong’s daughter. Bian’s widow is subsisting on loans to raise the 6-year-old girl, and is on the verge of losing their home. Authorities offered her about $30,000, which she declined, saying it was an insult to justice and her husband’s memory. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
“My daughter grew up without ever knowing her father’s love — how do you compensate for that?” Xu Lirong said. She keeps an altar for her husband in her home. She wants to shield her daughter from the truth that has destroyed her. “After something like this, how can anyone trust the police again? They are men in uniform. They are supposed to serve the people. How could they do this to an innocent man?” (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Police officers in Fuzhou. Authorities arrested the dozen or so officers suspected of being responsible for Bian Lizhong’s death. Still, Chen Xintao considers justice incomplete. He points to the other officers suspected of taking part in the shooting. “They are still out on the streets wearing uniforms as if nothing had happened,” Chen said. “How can you say justice has been served?” (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)