The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) may refer the case of a former superintendent who assaulted pedestrians during last year’s pro-democracy Occupy protests to the chief executive for final decision on the case.

Now-retired police commander Frankly Chu King-wai was filmed hitting pedestrians in Mong Kok on November 26 last year. The IPCC voted in favour of substantiating Chu’s assault case in July, days after the police force’s internal Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) rejected the IPCC’s ruling.

The case has now been forwarded back to CAPO, but the police unit is still seeking legal advice from the Department of Justice. IPCC Chairman Larry Kwok Lam-Kwong told local media that if a reply from CAPO was not received by the end of December, the police watchdog may decide on further actions.

IPCC secretary-general Ricky Chu Man-kin said these may include referring the case to the chief executive. If the two bodies cannot reach an agreement, the chief executive has the power to make a final decision on whether Frankly Chu will be prosecuted.

A police report to the Department of Justice in August concluded that Frankly Chu’s actions did not constitute a criminal offence.

Franklin Chu King-wai was filmed hitting pedestrians with a baton.
Frankly Chu King-wai was filmed hitting pedestrians with a baton.

Occupy complaints

The IPCC has received 161 investigation reports from CAPO, out of the 172 complaints made against police during the protests that the IPCC was required to follow up on.

Ricky Chu said that the IPCC is handling 31 reports, and is waiting for replies from the CAPO on another 25 reports that the IPCC deemed “questionable” after reviewing.

In 20 cases for which full investigations were launched, the officers involved in four were found to not have been at fault or the IPCC was unable to verify the complaints.

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Decrease in complaints

Meanwhile, the IPCC has also published its annual report for the fiscal year 2014-15.

In 2014-15, the body scrutinised and endorsed the findings of 2,241 complaint cases involving 4,088 allegations investigated by the CAPO, which saw an overall decrease of more than 13 percent over the previous year.

More than half of the allegations—with 2,082 counts—were for “neglect of duty”. The next-most common allegations were “misconduct/improper manner/offensive language”, with 1,376 counts, and “assault”, with 291 counts.

Among the 4,088 allegations endorsed in 2014-15, 1,309 were fully investigated. Of these, 76 were classified as “substantiated”; 51 as “substantiated other than reported”; 26 as “not fully substantiated”; 560 as “unsubstantiated”; 522 as “no fault”; and 74 as “false”.

Kris Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist with an interest in local politics. His work has been featured in Washington Post, Public Radio International, Hong Kong Economic Times and others. He has a BSSc in Sociology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Kris is HKFP's Editorial Director.