Police left without stopping after journalist knocked down with shield
Many were arrested during a memorial gathering of Chow Tzk-Lok, a HKUST student who passed away four months ago. The gathering took place in Tseung Kwan O. Yesterday, a riot police used a shield to knock down a reporter from i-Cable News fron behind, her head hit the floor, and she suffered from dizziness and tinnitus afterwards.
In respond to an enquiry from The Stand News, the police claimed that the scene at the time was chaos, and expressed condolence on the injured reporter. However, they also emphasised that reporters should keep an acceptable distance, following the instructions given by police officers. i-Cable News made it clear that they did not accept the explanation given, demanding the police to actively investigate, provide details of the identity of the police officer involved. They also criticised the police of issuing a general respond, instead of referencing specific details, which was a shame.
Police Expressed Condolence on Injured Reporter
As seen in a video by PSHK, an online media, a team of riot police were marching forward during the incident, a police officer moved to the back of a reporter, who was wearing safety vest, and pushed her onto the floor with a shield. i-Cable said that the reporter involved was Yau Chu-Wah (游俊華), she fell over facing down, and immediately fell dizzy and “a ringing in the ear”. She then received treatment from first-aiders at the scene; the back of her head was swollen and started to hurt. The article also pointed out that she was wearing a helmet labelled “press” in addition to the safety vest.
In the response to the enquiry from The Stand News, the police claimed that there was a non-permitted public gathering in the area of Kwong Ming Court, Tseung Kwan O, last night. The scene was chaotic, and they “express their condolence on the injured reporter during a police operation, whom they spotted from news clips online”.
The police claimed that they value and respect the freedom and right of news reporting, and will facilitate the reporting process, as long as it is reasonable, realistic, and that it does not interfere law enforcement. Hong Kong Police have already deployed additional media team to facilitate. Individuals at the scene (including press) should pay attention to and follow the instructions given by the police, keep an acceptable distance, in order to not only prevent from interfering the law enforcement process during operations, but also to avoid any injuries.
i-Cable News: Police Officer “moved diagonally” to back of reporter before knocking down; did not stop afterwards
In the response issued by Hong Kong Police, if anyone in the media industry is not happy with the police, they can make a complaint to Complaints Against Police Office and Independent Police Complaints Council, whom will handle the complaints fairly and justly. The police did not respond directly regarding the identity of the police officer involved.
i-Cable News did not accept the explanation of the police, urging them to actively investigate this, provide the identity of the police officer involved, and and publish the result of investigation publicly. i-Cable News pointed out that the clip clearly showed that the reporter were walking in the same direction, and no police officers were behind her before the incident, but a riot police suddenly “moved diagonally” to behind the reporter and pushed the reporter, causing her falling over, injuring herself, the police officer did not stop after the incident, “i-Cable News considered it a great shame that the response from Police Public Relations Branch has ignored the specific facts of the incident, and only issued a general respond”.
Cap. 212 Offences against the Person Ordinance39.Assault occasioning actual bodily harmAny person who is convicted of an assault occasioning actual bodily harm shall be guilty of an offence triable upon indictment, and shall be liable to imprisonment for 3 years.[cf. 1861 c. 100 s. 4 U.K.]
Police General Orders Ch 39-05 Working with Media Representatives 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.
Related: 0308 The Death of Chau Tzk-Lok – Four Months on