How can powerless IPCC reach a conclusion: lawmaker - RTHK
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How can powerless IPCC reach a conclusion: lawmaker

2020-05-15 HKT 18:00
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  • Lam Cheuk-ting accuses the IPCC of twisting the facts surrounding the July 21 incident. Photo: RTHK
    Lam Cheuk-ting accuses the IPCC of twisting the facts surrounding the July 21 incident. Photo: RTHK
Pro-democracy lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting literally ripped apart a physical copy of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) report published on Friday before slamming its findings, asking how it could conclude there was no evidence of collusion between officers and the Yuen Long attackers while admitting it had no powers to investigate.

"The IPCC admits that they have no power, [no] investigative powers, and they cannot investigate the allegation of collusion between the gangsters and the police. But for unknown reason they could draw a conclusion that there is no collusion between them," said the lawmaker, who was one of those injured during the attack at the MTR station.

The IPCC report said that although riot police were seen talking to the men in white shirts who were seen attacking passengers and pro-democracy protesters at the station, this was not evidence of collusion between them.

Lam, who livestreamed the attacks on his social media page and sustained an arm fracture during the rampage, tore apart a copy of the report in anger during a media briefing.

He, along with seven other people, is suing the police force for damages in relation to the July incident.

"The IPCC repeatedly suggested the police force to enhance their PR skills to avoid any wrong allegations against them and they turn a blind eye to the brutal attacks and the wrongdoing," the opposition lawmaker said.

Some pro-government supporters have accused Lam of deliberately provoking the group of white-shirted men into attacking anti-government protesters who were returning to the district following demonstrations.

Lam took issue with the characterisation of the incident as "a fight" between groups in white shirts and black shirts in the IPCC report.

He also accused the watchdog of having drawn up the conclusion of the report before beginning the investigation work, saying that no one from the IPCC had interviewed him about the incident.

They had deliberately omitted the fact that he had called the police at around 10:22pm that evening as the attack was unfolding, he charged.

The report, however, did include screengrabs from Lam's Facebook livestream.

Lam was joined by his Democratic Party colleague Helena Wong who criticised the failure of the police to explain why officers were absent that night, and reiterated calls for an independent inquiry into police conduct.

The Civil Human Rights Front, which organised several mass demonstrations against the now-withdrawn extradition bill that brought millions out on the streets last year, also slammed the IPCC report.

A vice-convenor of the front, Eric Lai, said the report confirms their belief that the watchdog isn't fit for purpose.

"For us, we see that it just reaffirms our position that IPCC is not a capable and credible body to monitor the police abuse of power, and the problems in policing," Lai said. "The commission of inquiry is a must if we want to seek the truth and justice."

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Last updated: 2020-05-15 HKT 18:23