A police association has expressed its disappointment over retired superintendent Frankly Chu’s assault conviction for hitting a pedestrian with a police baton during the 2014 pro-democracy Occupy protests.
The Superintendents’ Association said in an evening statement that it respected the court’s verdict, but was particularly disappointed by the decision to remand him into custody and not allow bail.
“During his time in the police force, Mr Chu was passionate about his work and well-liked by his colleagues,” the staff association’s statement read. “We will support him in continuing to make his case through legal means.”
Police Inspectors’ Association chairperson Lee Jim-on told Now TV he hoped that Chu’s conviction would not lead to a loss of morale in the police force.
“A colleague was charged and convicted because of his work – I believe this is something that my colleagues do not want to see.”
Chu also received support from pro-Beijing lawmaker Regina Ip, who wrote on Facebook that he deserved sympathy. “[Chu] was at the frontlines during Occupy Central – he received serious insults every day, and was exhausted from the immense, long-time pressure he was under.”
“I hope the court can consider the above factors and reasons for mitigation, and exercise discretion by handing a suspended sentence to ex-superintendent Chu.”
The retired officer was charged in March, more than two years since hitting pedestrian Osman Cheng with a baton as part of a police operation to disperse crowds in Mong Kok in November 2014.
Cheng – who at one point considered initiating private prosecution – told Now TV he did not experience any feelings of happiness or satisfaction following Monday’s conviction.
“[The conviction] is something that ought to happen,” he said. “Everyone should be responsible for the things they do.”
Chu’s lawyer Peter Pannu told reporters outside the Eastern Magistrates Court that he would appeal the decision.
He said he did not yet know whether Chu would appeal against the conviction itself, or if he would appeal against the sentence once it is handed down.