Police Commissioner Chris Tang said on Thursday that he was "shocked" by the arrest of an RTHK employee on suspicion of possessing imitation firearms, claiming that if the journalist had not been stopped by officers, there could have been serious consequences.
An RTHK video journalist was arrested on Thursday morning at Ocean Park MTR Station as he was heading to the police training college to cover a "National Security Education Day" event.
Officers allege that the part-time journalist, who is also believed to be a film student at the Hong Kong Design Institute, was carrying toy guns and a walkie-talkie with him.
He has now been bailed and will report back to police next month.
Tang was asked about the arrest while giving a media briefing to mark the education day. Despite the force's ongoing case against the RTHK employee, the police chief decided to respond and revealed that the suspect had earlier been linked to the 2019 protests.
The 21-year-old had been charged with assaulting police officers, but was acquitted by a court, Tang said.
The commissioner also claimed that the journalist's alleged offence on Thursday could have ended very badly.
“Today is the National Security Education Day, there’s an anti-terrorism drill. If a person, using his identity as a reporter takes his imitation guns out to do something, I can’t imagine what would happen,” he said.
RTHK said earlier in the day that the journalist had been immediately removed from duties following the arrest and that the broadcaster would fully cooperate with the police's investigation.
Asked for a further comment in light of Tang's remarks, an RTHK spokesperson said the station had nothing to add at this stage.
Last updated: 2021-04-15 HKT 22:01
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