Police search turns violent as riot police (PTU) rip reporter’s vest and helmet off

Conflicts broke out in Mong Kok once again on the 6-month-anniversary of the 831 incident. As midnight passed and both protesters and police officers retreated, a solitary Stand News reporter in Mong Kok, who had already been searched twice in the past hours, was once again searched by members of the Z Team Police Tactical Unit, who allegedly violently assaulted him.

As the Stand News reporter was clearly wearing a reflective vest, wore the reporter ID, had a helmet on, labelled ‘PRESS’; cooperated with the officers and presented his identity card, it is inexplicable why the PTU officers accused him of being part of an unlawful assembly, or why they accused him of being a rioter. Because of the above alleged crimes, they prohibited the reporter from using his mobile phone and even tried wrenching his phone from his hands. PTU officers then demanded the reporter turn around, and as he was not facing him, slammed him onto the ground, one officer even kicking him during the process. They then proceeded to harshly rip off his helmet, vest and gas mask. After ordering that the reporter’s items be put on the ground, he was finally released.

The reporter has already recorded the UI number (PTU Z1 4/7) of one of the PTU officers for abuse of authority and using excessive force, and will be issuing a complaint to the Complaints and Internal Investigations Branch later on. A similar incident encountered by the reporter was  on 3rd November, 2019, where police officers unreasonably arrested him and detained him for 21 hours before his release, and has already issued a complaint for his case.

“Police General Order ” Chapter 39 No.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.

Cap. 212 “Offences against the Person Ordinance” No.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.

Related Issue: half year after 831 Prince Edward attack issue

Editorial Board, CityU SU

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