Leaked video footage has emerged of top cops – including police chief Chris Tang – attending a banquet with pro-police celebrities and a retired officer convicted of assault.
The viral clips came weeks after a similar video was widely shared appearing to show top police brass dining at the same restaurant as alleged gangsters.
In the latest clip, the Commissioner of Police told the crowd that “[his] heart was beating fast” because he was thrilled to be at the party with his idols, including actor Jackie Chan, singer Alan Tam and all-round entertainer Eric Tsang.
The celebrities are known for their pro-China stance and open support of the force during last year’s pro-democracy protests and unrest.
Tang joked that he learned how to be a policeman from actors like Chan and Alex Fong, who had starred in police films: “I learned everything from you. I didn’t know how to be a police officer, but I learned it while watching [your films].”
Tang also put his hands on Tsang’s shoulders and told him that his comedy shows had helped him to be eloquent at District Council meetings.
“Do you know why I was so good at speaking at the district council? Because I learned from Eric’s [comedy shows],” Tang said.
Tang wrapped up his speech by thanking attendees and said that the police have close ties with members of the entertainment sector.
“We are good old friends. Everything is in our hearts, no words are needed. You guys just need to give us a thumbs up, we would not hesitate to go through fire and water,” he said.
Aside from Tang, other police figures were spotted at the banquet, including Chief Superintendent John Tse and Senior Superintendent Kelvin Kong, who often appeared at police press conferences during the protests.
Retired superintendent Frankly Chu, who was found guilty of assaulting a pedestrian with a baton during the Umbrella Movement protests in 2014, was also in attendance.
The clips showed that the banquet was hosted by Sun Hei Celebrity Football Team, a football team under the Hong Kong Movie Star Sports Association, sponsored by Sun Hei Sports Club.
The clips and some photos were reshared on multiple pages on Facebook as well as on YouTube. Some pro-democracy netizens mockingly praised Chu as their teammate, as the clips were rumoured to have been shot on his phone: “Thank you Chu sau zuk! Liberate Hong Kong, Revolution of Our Times,” one commenter wrote.
Others raised concerns over the health risks of attending a banquet amid the coronavirus outbreak: “All of them did not wear a mask, I really wish them good luck,” another commenter wrote.
A police spokesperson told media that the dinner was held on Sunday night following matches between the celebrity football team and a police team. The cost was shared by the two parties and did not involve using public funds.
Earlier this month, the force was accused of meeting with local triad group 14K at a Chinese restaurant in Whampoa on February 7. The allegation came after local media outlet Next Magazine leaked footage showing Kong and Chief Superintendent Kwok Ka-chuen attending a banquet in the same restaurant as alleged gang members.
NextMagazine found #HKPolice Chief Superintendents and Senior Superintendents attending a banquet organized by local triads on Feb 7th, 2020.
— #SOSHK Fight for Hong Kong (@Fight4HongKong) February 9, 2020
The police denied and condemned the allegations as a “fabrication” intended to defame the force. A police spokesperson said the banquet was a private dinner among off-duty officers, adding that police and triads are always in opposition.