plainclothes policemen with no warrant card subdue youth and attack journalists with pepper spray for no reason

On 13th May 2020 at about 9 pm, civilians responded to the online call to join the “Congratulations on your mother’s birthday and Sing with you” at Shatin New Town Plaza. A protester suspected of to vandalising the Hey Tea shop was subdued by plainclothes police officers on the scene. The plainclothes officers pinned the man to the ground, held up pepper spray and pointed it at other people present, and at one point, without warning, shot at members of the public who were berating the officers. The plainclothes officers did not display their warrant cards throughout the process. A large number of uniformed police officers later arrived to provide support and applied pepper spray to the crowd, leaving many civilians and an expatriate mall staff feeling uncomfortable.

 

Laws of Hong Kong Cap. 232A Police (Discipline) Regulations Part I Section 3:
(2) The offences against discipline are—
(k) unlawful or unnecessary exercise of authority resulting in loss or injury to any other person or to the Government;

Laws of Hong Kong Cap. 212 Offences against the Person Ordinance Section 40:
Common assault
Any person who is convicted of a common assault shall be guilty of an offence triable either summarily or upon indictment, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 1 year.

Police General Orders Chapter 39 Section 39-05:
All officers at the scene of an incident shall:-
(a) facilitate the work of the news media as much as possible and accord media representatives consideration and courtesy; and
(b) not block camera lenses.

 

Force Procedures Manual Section 39-04
It should be noted that the news media have the right to film, record or take photographs in or within view of a public place, even during Police controlled operations. Photographers and TV cameramen in particular should be given an opportunity to have vantage points; they as far as possible are to be given unrestricted access to any public place in the same way as any other members of the public. The Police are not responsible for what the news media publishes or broadcasts – this is a judgement for the media to make.

 

Police General Orders Chapter 20 Section 20-14:
2. A police officer shall carry his warrant card on his person at all times provided his intended activities are compatible with its safe keeping. An officer in plain-clothes when dealing with members of the public and exercising his police powers, whether he is on or off duty, shall identify himself and produce his warrant card. At the scene of a crime, officers in plain-clothes shall wear their warrant cards in such a manner that they may be readily identified.

 

Police General Orders Chapter 20 Section 20-14:
5. If a police officer in uniform is unable to produce his warrant card at the time of the request as required by paragraph 4(a) and (b) above, the officer should produce the warrant card at the earliest opportune moment. Only where police officers do not produce their warrant cards, either because the request for production was unreasonable or it could not be subsequently complied with, must an explanatory notebook entry be made.

 

Related event: 0513 Sing With You Shatin

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