Police weren't professional enough on Sunday: chief - RTHK
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Police weren't professional enough on Sunday: chief

2020-05-12 HKT 12:49
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  • Police weren't professional enough on Sunday: chief
Hong Kong's police chief has acknowledged that the treatment of reporters during protests on Sunday was “undesirable” and that officers “should have been more professional".

Police Commissioner Chris Tang made the comments during a heated meeting with members of Yuen Long District Council on Tuesday.

One of the questions came from the Democratic Party's Roy Kwong, regarding what he described as a “terrorist-like attack” on reporters in Mong Kok, who were pepper-sprayed, ordered to kneel down, and told to stop filming.

Kwong was discharged from hospital on Monday night following Sunday's protest. He was arrested and sent to hospital with a neck injury after he was struck with a police baton and fell to the ground, with one officer using his knee to press down Kwong's head.

Tang told the district council that the force will review what happened and meet with media groups next week.

He confirmed that he has so far written to four media organisations – The Hong Kong Journalists' Association, the Hong Kong News Executives' Association, the Hong Kong Federation of Journalists, and the Hong Kong Press Photographers Association.

The letter, which was sent via chief superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen from the force's public relations bureau, said that the police respect freedom of speech and press freedom.

But it added that the police had seized fake press passes at previous demonstrations, and that some people in yellow press vests were behaving in a way that did not conform to reporting work, such as obstructing police from carrying out arrests.

Other councillors asked the police chief about the July 21 gang attack last year in Yuen Long MTR Station.

Tang again said there was room for improvement in terms of the response time and communication. It took police 39 minutes to deploy a team following the beatings that put dozens in hospital.

So far, 37 people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

When asked about the recent arrests of some of his officers for various offences including drug trafficking and assault, Tang said this situation is also undesirable, adding that he feel ashamed about it.

He said the force will shortly introduce new measures to strengthen integrity among officers.