Beijing fires some police involved in alleged brutality case

Beijing police say they have fired four of the five police officers involved in the high-profile death of a man in their custody, following a public outcry against city prosecutors' move to drop charges against them.

The municipal Public Security Bureau said on its official microblog Thursday that four officers, including a deputy branch chief, were dismissed from their positions while the remaining officer was transferred to a non-law enforcement post.

Last week's decision by Beijing prosecutors to drop charges against the officers for the death of Lei Yang, a 29-year-old environmentalist, had sparked outrage among the country's burgeoning middle class, thousands of whom signed online petitions to protest the move.

Investigators had concluded the officers' actions didn't merit prosecution under Chinese law.