The police officer who was caught slamming a woman holding a toddler to the ground on video footage was given a major demerit on his record, according to an official statement on Saturday night by the Songjiang Police Station in Shanghai, where the incident happened and the police officer serves.
A 50-second-or-so video shared on China's multiple social networks since Friday noon has drawn tens of millions of viewers and sparked an outcry online. The video shows that the woman, holding the toddler with her left arm, challenged and pushed the police officer several times before the officer body-slammed her onto the ground. The young girl fell with the woman and cried out loud when she hit the pavement.
According to the statement, the police officer, surnamed Zhu, and the woman, surnamed Zhang, got into physical confrontation while disagreeing about a parking ticket Zhu filed.
Heated debates were triggered online, accusing the officer of abusing his power while on duty and causing harm to a young child. Others, however, argued that the woman was interfering with law enforcement by intentionally putting her child in potential jeopardy.
Both the woman and the toddler were taken to a hospital afterwards and no serious injuries were found, according to the statement by the district police station.
The woman was given a warning for hindering a police officer.
The major demerit the officer received means he cannot be promoted or enjoy a salary raise for 18 months.
Since March, the municipality has launched what has been called the strictest overhaul of traffic law enforcement.