The name of the police commander for an area in Yuen Long that saw violent mob attacks on Sunday has been removed from the government’s public phone directory. The move comes after netizens accused the Pat Heung division commander of colluding with the attackers in widely-shared video footage.

As of Tuesday morning, Li Hon-man’s name had disappeared from the government contact list. HKFP called the number of the division commander provided in the directory, but no-one picked up.

Li Hon-man‘s name has been removed. Photo: Screenshot.

On Sunday night, a group of unknown men in white attacked people at Yuen Long MTR station with bamboo sticks and metal bars, among other weapons. The incident left at least 45 people injured including journalists and a lawmaker. At least six have since been arrested over the attacks.

A clip featuring Li was later shared across social media. In it, Li was asked by an RTHK journalist why police showed up late to the violent scenes in Yuen Long.

Li Hon-man. Photo: RTHK screenshot.

“I don’t know if we were late, we got the call and then we came. As for how long we took to arrive, I couldn’t see my watch, sorry,” he told the reporter.

He said the scene was messy: “How could we have a chance to look at our watches?”

Li refused to answer further questions and told the journalist to approach the police public relations branch. “I’m telling you, you’re not going to scare me this way,” Li added.

Viral clips

In another widely shared clip, Li was seen apparently speaking to a group of people who had gathered on the same night. They asked him if the police had cleared the crowd by putting them onto public transport, though the identity of the group – and to whom they were referring – is unclear.

One of the men is heard saying: “If they don’t leave, we will clear them out.”

Li patted one of the men on the shoulder, and said: “I appreciate your concern. But I don’t want your assistance to make our job more difficult… don’t worry, okay?”


Posted by 陳子禮 on Sunday, 21 July 2019

A spokesperson later told HKFP that Li was still the Pat Heung division commander, but did not comment further.

On Monday, Police Commissioner Stephen Lo rejected any claims of collusion with triads amid questions over the slow response.

Kris Cheng

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.