Seven Officers On One Citizen: Apologize Till We Are Satisfied
On 8th March, a group of citizens gathered at Sheung Tak Crossings to mourn the death of Chow Tsz-Lok. Meanwhile, police set up a lockdown at Sheung Lai House. Some citizens were taken by the police into a parking lot, where they were searched without witnesses. Most of these citizens were female and young people. A minority girl was scared by the police and started crying.
As shown in the video, the police went “7 on 1” during their search. They cornered their target and threatened with vulgar languages. Even those who complied with their orders were treated with abusive words, including “moron” and “fuckers”. They also said thing like: “Who the fuck knows where you’ve been, we need to search you just because you’re passing by”. The man searched by the police was then requested to apologize to all the 7 officers one by one until the police are satisfied.
Later on the police noticed there were reporters nearby recording. They urged reporters to turn off cameras and turn in their pictures and videos. They questioned reporters’ identity, and said that taking pictures was to challenge the police authority. Finally reporters were taken away and searched by the police.
The officers’ language was not based on legal standards, and it was unclear which exactly law were being enforced by the police. It was more questionable that whether the police followed their regulations when they asked questions. This incident further proved that police were trying to scare local residents so that they would not participate in public democracy events in the future.
Hong Kong Legislation Cap. 232A Police (Discipline) Regulations Part I Article 3:
(2) The offences against discipline are—(c) conduct to the prejudice of good order and discipline;
(j) making a statement which is false in a material particular in the course of his duty or in connexion with the discharge by the police force of any of its duties or functions;
(m) conduct calculated to bring the public service into disrepute.
Hong Kong Legislation Cap. 232 Police Force Ordinance Article 54(2):
(2) If a police officer finds any person in any street or other public place, or on board any vessel, or in any conveyance, at any hour of the day or night, whom he reasonably suspects of having committed or of being about to commit or of intending to commit any offence, it shall be lawful for the police officer—(a) to stop the person for the purpose of demanding that he produce proof of his identity for inspection by the police officer;
(b) to detain the person for a reasonable period while the police officer enquires whether or not the person is suspected of having committed any offence at any time;
(c) to search the person for anything that is likely to be of value (whether by itself or together with anything else) to the investigation of any offence that the person has committed, or is reasonably suspected of having committed or of being about to commit or of intending to commit; and
(d) to detain the person during such period as is reasonably required for the purpose of such a search.
Police General Orders Cap. 44 Article 44-05:
2. Searches are to be conducted in as polite a manner as possible and with the preservation of the dignity of the subject of the search paramount.
Related: 0308 the 4th month after the death of HKUST student Chow Tsz-Lok