Hong Kong police have said a local journalist was arrested on Sunday after physically clashing with officers.
At around 11:25pm, a photojournalist for Mad Dog Daily argued with riot police near the intersection of Shantung Street and Portland Street. He was pepper-sprayed, beaten with batons, arrested and then taken to the Mong Kok police station.
Hong Kong Police Public Relations Branch Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung said police had been dispersing protesters on the scene and tried to create a safe distance by telling crowds to back away.
Kong said that a person – without referring him as a photojournalist – was not wearing a press vest or presenting a press card, and refused to leave the area.
“I have to [say] that actually, at that particular occasion, his verbal abuse [was] very likely to cause breach of the peace at the scene,” he said.
Kong said police had warned him to stop but he did not follow instructions so an officer fired pepper spray at him.
Posted by 香港電台視像新聞 RTHK VNEWS on Sunday, 15 December 2019
Kong added that the reporter had “physical contact” with the officers, prompting them to subdue and arrest him on suspicion of obstructing of police.
“He struggled during the process, so officers used batons to subdue him,” Kong said.
The reporter has not been released from detention as of Monday afternoon.
Posted by Campus TV, HKUSU 香港大學學生會校園電視 on Sunday, 15 December 2019
At around 12:30am in Mong Kok, police were conducting a dispersal operation when an officer appeared to shout and point his finger at an elderly woman, according to a clip published by the University of Hong Kong’s campus television.
The woman said she suffered from heart disease and that the officer should not threaten her. The officer asked her to show her medical certificate as proof and pointed a pepper spray can at her.
The woman took out her medical certificates but the officer responded, saying: “What the fuck are you doing, taking out your stack of medical certificates?”
Asked about the incident, Kong said officers could have conducted themselves in a better manner.
“I want to remind the public that all those who are sick, elderly, or children, should try to avoid such dangerous areas at around 1am,” he added.
Kong said 99 people had been arrested over the past week – 70 men and 29 women, between 20 and 54 years old – on suspicion of unlawful assembly, possession of offensive weapons, possession of tools for illegal use, causing an explosion which was likely to have endangered lives or property, among other offences. Of the 99 identified, 31 were arrested on Sunday – including 17 students, he added.
Over the past week, 27 tear gas canisters – all of which were fired last Sunday – and five rubber bullet rounds were used, with eight police officers injured, the force said.
Meanwhile, Secretary for the Civil Service Joshua Law said at a legislative meeting on Friday that the Security Bureau had completed its study into legislating a ban on insulting civil servants.
Law said the government had been consulting the Department of Justice over the proposed law before consulting other bureaus, and that there was no timetable for legislating the measure.
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