20200122 Fifty Riot Police (PTU) remove the memorial commemorating Chan Yin-lam and Alex Chow Tsz-lok; Letter of condolence written by Chow’s father is removed
Fifteen-year-old Chan Yin-lam, a student of Hong Kong Design Institute, and 22-year-old Alex Chow Tsz-lok, a student of The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, was found dead last September and November respectively. The reason for their death aroused a great deal attention among the public. Civilians then set up memorial and Lennon Wall at the Sheung Tak Estate in Tsueng Kwan O and held commemorating events. On 22nd January midnight, the government suddenly sent a grab-mounted truck to the scene to remove the memorial and their portraits. About 50 officers of Police Tactical Unit with guns were on alert. Some protestors swiftly blocked the road in order to stop the removal but in vain. Civilians rebuilt the memorial and put down flowers yesterday afternoon. At night, a few officers of Police Tactical Unit arrived at the scene and did not allow anyone to go near the memorial. Hundreds of civilians scolded them.
At 03:00 yesterday, a grab-mounted truck arrived at the Sheung Tak Estate car park and was driven onto the pavement. It grabbed away all the items on the memorial including the portraits of the two students, candlesticks, flowers, commemorating items and posters on Lennon Wall. During the clearance, around 50 officers of Police Tactical Unit with guns were on alert. Some of them patrolled around the car park and stopped and searched pedestrians. After that, officers got on police cars and coaches and left. Few items were left on Lennon Wall. Mental bars were set around with the notice from the Housing Authority, stating that this location would be temporarily enclosed due to road rehabilitation works.
Dozens of residents learned of the incident online and rushed to the scene immediately. They saw how Lennon Wall was cleared and they were emotional. According to the news on the scene, the letter of condolence written by Chow’s father was also removed. Civilians moved the mental bars and bricks to block the crossroad between Tong Ming Street and Tong Chun Street, leading to the obstruction of traffic and buses unable to get to the terminal. At about 0500, a team of Police Tactical Unit with rifles, refuse collection vehicles and trucks, which were believed to be sent by Highways Department, returned. With the presence of Police Tactical Unit, workers started to clear the bricks and the items left on the road. The police also entered the car park and searched around. Some civilians were stopped and searched and they were released. The police left until 07:00.
On 22nd January afternoon, Apple Daily arrived at the scene again and found that civilians built bricks again and a few of them put down bunches of flowers. No police were around the scene. Until 21:00, a large number of civilians came to commemorate the two students. Over 10 officers of Police Tactical Unit suddenly arrived at the scene and dispersed the civilians. The officers did not allow civilians to go near the memorial and stopped and searched them. Some officers also stationed around the car park. Civilians on the scene were discontented and yelled at the officers.
Regulation 3, Part I of the Police (Discipline) Regulations (Cap. 232A):
2) The offenses against discipline are –
(k) unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority resulting in loss or injury to any other person or to the Government;
Destroying or damaging property
(1) A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property, whether belonging to himself or another—
(a) intending to destroy or damage any property or being reckless as to whether any property would be destroyed or damaged; and
(b) intending by the destruction or damage to endanger the life of another or being reckless as to whether the life of another would be thereby endangered, shall be guilty of an offence.
(3) An offence committed under this section by destroying or damaging property by fire shall be charged as arson.