Police officers beat up civilians after getting drunk, then fled by police boat.
Mr. Leung Kwok-ho, District Councillor of Cheung Chau, summarized reports from numerous witnesses on his Facebook page about an assault. He said that after nightfall on 3rd April, a group of suspected plainclothes officers had a quarrel with a civilian outside a convenient store. Some of these suspected officers brought the civilian to the pier and beat him. Some of these suspected officers reeked of alcohol and scolded other people on the scene. After beating the civilian, that group of suspected officers boarded a police boat and left. Spokesman of the police said that Crime Marine was conducting a routine anti-crime operation in Cheung Chau yesterday night. They questioned a man with smell of alcohol amid the operation, and later letting him go.
According to Leung, the incident happened at about 11:20pm yesterday night. 8 to 9 people were outside an OK Convenient Store at Cheung Chau. They had a quarrel with a local resident. That resident was later brought by those suspected police officers to a public pier nearby and was beaten by them. Those suspected officers even yelled at other people. Some people were driven away and even kicked by those suspected officers and were consequently injured. In the end, those suspected officers boarded a police boat and left the scene.
Some civilians on scene said that about 8 to 9 men, who looked like police officers, were quarreling with a male local resident outside an OK Convenient Store. Those officers went to a barbecue party at Cheung Chau Police Station. Some of them smelled of alcohol. The local residents witnessed 4 to 5 suspected officers dragged a man aged 30 to 40 to the public pier, then punched and kicked him. They even yelled, “You all go outside! You are not fucking allowed here! Never seen a cop beating someone?” Those officers boarded a boat of the marine police and left. Witnesses thought that it was a brawl between gang members. They realized that the assailants were indeed officers after hearing them yelled the word “cop”. They dare not film the scene out of the fear of getting beaten. The witnesses also added that the victim always sits on the steps outside the convenient store, talking to himself. He left the scene unaided after being beaten.
Mr. Eddie Chu Hoi-dick, Council Front legislator, said on Facebook that he received report from a witness, pointing out that the victim is a patient suffering from mental disorder. The witness mistook those suspected off-duty officers for gangsters. They pulled the man’s hair, dragged him along the streets and yelled at him. Some police officers were standing along the way. They yelled at other civilians, “Move along, people. There’s nothing to see here.”
That witness also said that around 10 civilians on scene were so scared by the police that they did not dare filming by their mobile phones. Therefore they reported to Leung immediately that “gangsters were attacking people at the pier”, and received a response from Leung saying “police on scene”. They thought that uniformed officers from Cheung Chau district arrived. They found out yesterday, according to Chu, that Leung was trying to say that the assailants were police.
Police spokesman responded to queries from Apple Daily yesterday night, saying that while Crime Marine was conducting a routine anti-crime operation on Friday night, officers questioned a man smelled of alcohol near the public pier. Later the officers let him go. However, the spokesman did not explain why they used force at that time. Police later amended their statement, saying they questioned 2 men instead of only 1, added that they suspected that 2 men had triad background.Police further pointed out that one man smelled of alcohol and was emotionally unstable. They were allowed to leave after being questioned. The spokesman also admitted that the officers later returned to Marine Police Headquarters by police boat.
According to the Stand News, the officers had a barbecue at Cheung Chau Police Station. On the other hand, police admitted that officers dined at Cheung Chau Police Station yesterday night in the reply to Apple Daily. Police also claimed that officers are reminded to maintain personal hygiene and to socialize less in order to lower the chance of infection.