Chief Executive Carrie Lam said on Tuesday that she finds it "quite remarkable" by international standards that Hong Kong has seen no deaths as a result of the anti-government protests that are now into their fourth month.
Lam made the comment as she once again threw her weight behind the city's police force, stressing it is an important agency that safeguards the rule of law.
Ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, the CE was asked for her views on the police's claim that a video purported to show officers attacking a man in a Yuen Long alleyway actually only showed police kicking a "yellow object".
The CE said she cannot comment on individual cases, but she still has faith in the current mechanism for any complaints against the police.
Asked whether the police are showing restraint when dealing with protesters, she said she still supports the force during what has now become a "very long, drawn-out process".
"The fact that after over three months, we have not seen major fatalities in Hong Kong is, by world standards because I have been meeting overseas dignitaries and senior officials, quite remarkable," Lam told reporters.
"You ask me when that sort of restraint will disappear, I really can't tell you because it's really on the ground. It's not for me, sort of quite far away from the commander, to be able to judge, let alone to tell them what to do. We have to trust the force and commander in dealing with such difficult situations," she said.
The CE also said that more than 20,000 people have applied to join a community dialogue session she will hold along with other top officials on Thursday night.
She said 150 people will be chosen at random to attend the event at the 3,500 seater Queen Elizabeth Stadium in Wan Chai and she hopes it can be held in a rational and calm manner.
The Hong Kong leader also said she was sad to see that many teenagers have been arrested over the protests in recent months.
But she said they may not fully understand the issues in question and parents and teachers should make them realise that politics can never be that simple.