Elite squad displayed ID just days before clashes - RTHK
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Elite squad displayed ID just days before clashes

2019-06-20 HKT 15:56
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  • Elite squad displayed ID just days before clashes
Press photographs from Hong Kong's extradition bill protests piled more pressure on the police on Thursday, seeming to contradict the force's claim that there was no space on the uniforms of the elite officers deployed for them to show their ID numbers.

A photo taken by RTHK shows an officer from the Special Tactical Squad was displaying his ID number following the protest on June 9.

Three days later – when violent clashes took place in Admiralty – officers dispersing the crowds did not show their numbers.

Critics of the way the police used rubber bullets and tear gas to clear the June 12 protesters have complained that the lack of ID numbers will make it very difficult for people to pursue allegations against officers involving an excessive use of force.

Dozens of claims of police brutality have been filed since the clashes.

But Security Secretary John Lee told Legco on Wednesday that the design of the squad's uniforms means there is not enough space to include an officer's ID number.

Democratic Party legislator Lam Cheuk-ting said on Thursday that media photographs show this clearly isn't the case. He said he had filed a complaint to the police accusing Lee of misconduct in public office by misleading the legislature.

"Those police officers concealed their police numbers deliberately to conceal their identity and to prevent any investigation into their abuse of power," Lam said.

Meanwhile, the group Civil Rights Observer also suggested that the lack of ID numbers was an attempt by officers to avoid any legal responsibility for their actions.

The group said that in 2016, officers in the squad did display their ID numbers and a new uniform later introduced could have been designed deliberately to make sure there was no ideal place to put the numbers on.

It said even so, there is plenty of room on the back of the officers' vests to display their numbers and the force's explanation on the matter is ridiculous and an insult to people's intelligence.