Searched buses, insulted citizens, deprived of human rights
A group of protesters temporarily changed the battlefield to Wong Tai Sin, then left the scene by buses at Lung Cheung Road. The police stopped and searched the bus on the spot. A passenger of that bus rewinded the incident on radio, expressing his discontent towards the police’s order on a teenager that owned defensive tools to put his hands on his head for more than an hour. He described the order as ‘making a fool of the protester’, ‘insulting’ and ‘abuse of power’. He also said that the police demanded the bus driver to cover all CCTVs on the bus, and complained that ‘The police went crazy!’
The bus involved was bus 42C, heading towards Lam Tin. When it reached near Kowloon Bay MTR Station, it was stopped by riot police. Mr. Lok, one of the passengers of the bus, recalled the incident on a radio programme on 4 September. He criticized that the police’s actions on the bus were abusing their power. Lok explained that he was sitting on the lower deck of the bus, and he was not participating in the protest, so no equipment was on his body at that time. Despite that, he was still searched and detained for about an hour. According to his observations, the police were specifically searching teenagers, or someone who yelled at police before. Those detained that were more gentle were allowed to leave the bus before other passengers. However, those passengers with defensive equipments, or those with stronger attitude against the police, or those seemed to be hating the police were not allowed to get off the bus.
While he was detained in the bus, he witnessed a teenager behind him was ordered by the police to put his hands on his head for more than an hour. The teenager had talked to the police about his tiredness of his hand, who was ignored by the police. The police answered him that they suspected him to be offensive, and claimed that he could be charged for ‘Obstructing or resisting a police officer’ and ‘Disorderly conduct in a public place’ if he put his hands down. They even said to him that ‘You like to make fun of police right? You are cockroaches! Put your hands on your head!’
Lok said that some of the passengers were also discontented, some of them explained to the police that they were just taking the bus, and advised the officers to handcuff the teenager instead of requiring him to put his hand on his head due to his tiredness. Lok had said to the police that ‘There is not a curfew right now, why are you searching the bus like this?’. Yet, the police just responded with a simple ‘Shut up!’, and said ‘It is none of your business, the bus is under our control now!’. After that, Lok and other passengers without equipments but supported the teenager verbally were driven to the upper deck and be further investigated.
Regarding the dispute of ‘being searched naked in the public’, Lok clarified that the teenager took his shirt of just because the hot and stuffy environment, instead of on police’s request.
Lok claimed that when the reporters were still on the bus, police was acting normal. After 15 minutes, the police demanded the reporters to leave the bus. Police’s attitudes were changed immediately after the reporters got off, they treated all passengers disrespectfully. They even said that the passengers were left alone now as the bus was under their control now. Officers also ordered the bus driver to cover all the CCTVs on the bus, which Lok suggested that it was because the police wanted the situation to remain unknown to the public, but every one did not dare to say a word. Since then, the police had started to go crazy.
Even half a day had passed, Lok was still indignant about the incident, especially about the inhumane order from the police towards the teenager. He described the order as ‘making a fool of protesters’ and argued that ‘If the teenager was sinful, why don’t you just handcuff him. Why did you disrespect him by ordering him to put his hands on his head for more than two hours? I think this is an abuse of power.’
Apart from that, there were witnesses saying that police officers were shouting ‘Be careful!’, ‘The floor is slippery!’ and some meaningless noises or laughters at the loudspeaker. They also intentionally put the microphone near the loudspeaker to make some irritative high-pitched noises.