Arbitrary arrest at Lennon Wall in Kwai Chung: 15 youngsters arrested while restoring the Wall, by-passers threatened by the police along with glaring strobe lights, a teacher being judged before any legal proceedings

Around 8pm on Feb 24, 2020, more than 10 youngsters were stopped, searched and arrested by police while putting up posters at the Lennon Wall on a flyover connecting Hiu Kwai House and Kwai Chung mall. The arguments between by-passers and police drew additional support from the Police Tactical Unit (PTU). Witnesses indicated the cause is that security nearby called the police, leading to at least 8 males and 7 females arrested. Police confirmed on Feb 27 that the 7 females arrested were already bailed out, whereas another 8 males refused bailout and were temporarily released with police reserving the right to prosecutions.

Kwai Tsing District Council member Leung Kam Wai broadcasted a live video on Facebook covering the confrontation in Kwai Chung. His video shows that police rounded up more than 10 youngsters inside the lockdown area. Tools such as glue in a bucket and scissors were seen in the lockdown area. As captured by the video, police claimed to arrest them with the suspicion of property damage. Surrounding by-passers disagreed and accused police for not wearing face masks. During confrontation between police and by-passers, police pointed glaring strobe lights to by-passers and received support from more than 20 PTU officers later on. Leung believes that the police acted unreasonably by arresting the youth for pasting posters, and behaved unprofessionally during the confrontation with onlookers.

Police posted a video on Facebook on Feb 25, indicating that they received a call from civilians on people putting up posters illegally at Kwai Chung House terrace, arresting 8 males and 7 females for suspected property damage, ranging from the age of 14 to 29 and including a teacher and associated students. Multiple posters and 11 glue sticks were also collected from the scene. Police expressed concerns about “a teacher leading students to break laws” and “regardless of the high moral ground of such act, what is illegal remains illegal.” Police stressed that schools and teachers are key to the education for youngsters, and that civilized society cannot accept teachers bringing students to commit illegal acts.

When Stand News followed up with Leung, Leung clarifies that the teacher and the few students arrested did not know each other, while the rest of the people arrested were not students at all. Some people were arrested just because they were passing by, yet when they explained this to the police, the explanation was not accepted.