The leader of a police union has issued an open letter saying the consciences of frontline officers are clear, despite widespread accusations that the force had used unnecessary and excessive force against protesters during violent clashes on Wednesday.
Lam Chi-wai, chairman of the Junior Police Officers' Association – which represents officers below the rank of inspector – said “pressure would make us stronger, conflicts would make us more united”, and that officers would continue to maintain order “with no complaints and no regrets”.
In the letter issued on Sunday, Lam lamented that many people had failed to see what he called “rioters” throwing bricks or iron rods at police officers, but claimed that they only saw unarmed students being attacked by the police.
Lam said the force has always been politically neutral, and must be completely loyal to the Chief Executive and the government.
He said officers are complaining that while “Hong Kong police are being smeared, rioters have become heroes and politicians are now revolutionaries”.
The force has come under fire after people shared a large number of video clips online showing riot police using batons, pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets and bean-bag rounds against protesters in situations where the officers did not appear to be threatened.
Other footage shows protesters and journalists alike being roughed up or pepper-sprayed for no apparent reason, or officers shouting verbal abuse.
'Loyal' officers unfairly smeared: police union
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