A teacher who was blinded in one eye by an alleged police projectile is looking to gather evidence in order to file a legal challenge against the Hong Kong police chief.

Raymond Yeung, a liberal studies teacher at the elite Diocesan Girls’ School, was arrested at a protest on June 12 last year in Admiralty. He was detained on suspicion of rioting but was released unconditionally later in October.

Yeung says he was hit in the face by a police projectile, as fragments of his shattered glasses went into his eyes. His right eye has only 2.5 per cent sight remaining.

Raymond Yeung on June 12 after treatment
Raymond Yeung on June 12 (left) and after treatment (right). File photo: Stand News.

“This has caused great difficulty with my daily work,” Yeung said in a Facebook post on Thursday.

He said that he will file a legal challenge against the police commissioner in the coming weeks to seek compensation. The suit will seek a declaration that the police use of force against him was unlawful, a breach of common law, and an affront to the Basic Law and Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance which guarantee his freedom and rights.

The claim will also seek a declaration that the act of the police were in violation of Chapter 29 of the Police General Orders on use of force and firearms. The chapter is not available to the public.

Protests first sparked by the now withdrawn extradition law have continued for almost seven months. They have evolved into sometimes violent displays of dissent, calls for democracy, and anger over Beijing’s encroachment. Though the bill was eventually axed, the police use of force on June 12 spurred calls for an independent investigation into police behaviour.

Legal reference

Yeung said he did not verbally or physically attack officers last June but saw a projectile flying towards him. He said he cannot confirm what kind of projectile it was.

“Other than fighting for reasonable compensation, this case also has other meanings: To force the police to make public the contents of ‘use of force and firearms’ [gudelines] under the Police General Orders, so that members of the public have more rationale to monitor law enforcement by the police,” he said.

police china extradition protest june 12 2019 Photo May James (19) (Copy)
June 12, 2019. File Photo: May James.

He said his case can also act as a reference for other victims of police brutality, and to deter officers from recklessly or unlawfully using firearms.

Yeung said he was looking for photos and videos shot last June 12 between 4pm and 4:30pm near the intersection of Harcourt Road and Cotton Tree Drive. He was wearing a black top and dark green pants.

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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.