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'Heavy' sentence unacceptable, say police unions

2017-02-17 HKT 15:48
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  • 'Heavy' sentence unacceptable, say police unions
  • Police chief Stephen Lo also thanks the Inspectors' Assoication and Juinor Police Officers' Assoication for reflecting their members' feelings.
    Police chief Stephen Lo also thanks the Inspectors' Assoication and Juinor Police Officers' Assoication for reflecting their members' feelings.
Two police officers' associations on Friday said the two year’s jail sentence handed down to their colleagues for assaulting a pro-democracy activist is unacceptable and too long.

Lee Jim-on, chairman of the Police Inspectors' Association, said the punishment term is lengthier than those given in similar assault cases.

He said officers should not receive heavier penalties just because the case is serious as policemen are also human, adding otherwise it would just be the rule of man.

The head of the Junior Police Officers' Association, Joe Chan, said they would start an internal fund-raising drive to help the convicted officers financially.

He also said they would do everything lawful to seek justice for the officers. Chan said some of his colleagues wanted to take to the streets to express their disappointment, but he said at this stage they would not organise a protest.

Police Commissioner Stephen Lo said he has a “mixed feeling” over the sentencing.

“After learning the sentence, my heart is heavy. I have mixed feelings,” he said in a hastily arranged media session at the police headquarters.

He also said he understands the disappointment and frustration felt by many staff members and pledged support to the seven officers’ families.

The force have approved an internal fundraising for the seven, Lo said.

Lo, who left the media briefing without taking questions, said the force will stick to their duties and maintain public order, and continue to serve the Hongkongers with unswerving efforts.

Chief Executive-contender and former security secretary Regina Ip also thought the penalty was too heavy. She said the officers were under a lot of stress and emotion led to the assault.

Another CE-hopeful, John Tsang, said he respects the court's decision but said he would not comment further because of the ongoing judicial process.

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Last updated: 2017-02-17 HKT 17:48