Police Torturing Protester During Arrest, Leaving Behind Blood Puddles at Cordoned Area
An Apple Daily journalist witnessed police brutality in an Special Tactics Squad operation at 9 p.m. in Mong Kok when a male protester was hunted to the ground and beaten repeatedly by an STS officer with a baton at Tung Choi Street. The protester’s head was seen bleeding when he was immobilised by two STS officers forcing on his upper body and one officer stepping on his leg. A puddle of blood was left on the ground. The journalist was cast away by a number of officers who shined strong flashlights at her camera when she was trying to cover the scene. The injured protester was seen taken away by the police, but it was unsure whether he was sent to the hospital. Civilians at the scene found the accused the police of torturing the protester and found police brutality and violence unacceptable. The journalist returned to the scene the following morning and saw signs of the site having been cleansed (blood stains washed and odd objects cleared) although some clogged blood could still be seen stuck on the ground.
At around 9:49 p.m. on 27 October 2019, the Apple Daily journalist turned around to Tung Choi Street from Soy Street when more than a dozen protesters were running across Tung Choi Street from Fa Yuen Street via the back alley of Foo Tat Building. The journalist witnessed how one protester lagging behind on the flee was caught and subdued by an STS “Raptor” officer, who was seen swinging his baton at the protester’s head, apparently hitting the protester, before he was joined by a few other STS officers “assisting” the arrest.
The journalists then went around to a spot farther away trying to cover the scene at a wider angle, only to be banned from filming by riot police officers who directed their strong flashlights at her camera. At around 9:51 p.m., two riot police officers pushed the journalists away by repeating the same command “Back off! Walk! Walk! Walk!” The camera showed the protester was completely subdued at the time, hands tied at the back, lying motionless on the ground apparently because of his head injury, but a riot police officer was seen trampling on the protester’s leg to aggravate his injury.
At 9:53 p.m., the journalists went around again to try covering the scene from another spot. The Ladies’ Market on Tung Choi Street at the time was swarmed with riot police, who kept chasing pedestrians away. The journalist covering the scene on live video was disturbed by police officers who kept yelling, “Are you done filming? Enough filming!” They kept driving out the journalist on the grounds that the alley had been cordoned off. One riot police officer labelled as “PTU Z2 2/8” (a code replacing the proper UI badge number) kept howling at the journalist, “I said OUT! How many times have I said it!” While she was backing off, another riot police officer labelled as “PTU Z_ 1/8” (the number after Z was hidden behind the rim of the pocket) yelled at a threatening tone, “Don’t you ever be in the way of the police! Simple as that! I won’t waste my words on you!” before storming away. When the journalist asked “PTU Z2 2/8” why he was yanking the clothes of her fellow journalist, the officer refused to say a word. The same officer also rebutted at a later time, “I’m just raising my shield. So what!” when he was trying to cover the white label showing his code.
At 9:57 p.m., the journalist went to the junction of Tung Choi Street and Soy Street, away from the riot police, and managed to film the same protester when he was being body-searched. However, her filming was constantly affected by moving riot police officers who kept walking back and forth in front of the camera. The journalist recorded on video at 9:49 p.m. when the protester was hit in the head repeatedly by a police baton. She managed to see him again, also on live footage, at 10:04 p.m., but he was seen lying motionless on the ground with a bleeding wound at the top of his head.
Moments later, two STS “Raptor” police officers arrived at Tung Choi Street. The protester was seen being dragged on the ground from behind at 10:08 p.m. An STS officer in white sneakers apparently trampled on the victim’s head while a riot police officer shined his flashlight at the journalist’s camera in an attempt to stop the site being filmed. The victim was then taken away. His whereabouts remained a mystery.
At 10:14 p.m., another Apple Daily journalist arrived at the spot where the brutal arrest took place. A crowd of civilians around the site accused the police of torturing the protester. As shown in the live footage, the ground was stained with blood, above which were some plastic bags and beer cans. Witnesses said they saw the police placing plastic bags on the blood stains, apparently trying to keep them out of sight.