The mother of a 12-year-old girl who was tackled to the ground during a demonstration in Mong Kok three months ago has filed a complaint against the police about their allegedly inappropriate use of force.

Mrs. Ho and her daughter Pamela handed in a formal letter of complaint in person on Wednesday, at the Mong Kok police station, accompanied by Yau Tsim Mong District Councillor Andy Yu Tak-po.

District Councillor Andy Yu, Mrs. Ho, and Pamela 12 year old tackled
District Councillor Andy Yu, Mrs. Ho, and Pamela. Photo: Andy Yu via Facebook.

“I had no weapon in hand, I did not break the law, but I was humiliated by the police. I’ve been harmed and cannot forget this unhappy experience,” the girl shared her comments via text, Apple Daily reported.

In previous interviews, Pamela said she visited the area with her elder brother to purchase art supplies for class, but could not pass through due to a police cordon. ㏑ a widely-shared video, she was seen running away from police, moments before being tackled to the ground and restrained.

She – alongside her brother and a passer by – was issued with a penalty ticket for violating the Covid-19 ban on group gatherings of more than two people.

YouTube video

The police later defended their action on Facebook, saying that only “minimum necessary force” was used, and that she “ran away in a suspicious manner.” Her and her brother’s penalty tickets were ultimately dropped in November.

Internal complaints body

Yu, the District Councillor who has been assisting the family, told Apple Daily that Mrs Ho’s complaint is about the police’s use of force when they restrained her. and that the police continued to press charges against her and her brother even after he explained to officers that they were siblings, and should be exempt from the gathering ban.

In her letter, Mrs Ho also complained that officers presumed she was participating in the protests and dismissed her rudely when she tried to explain their situation at the time.

Yu said they were subsequently told the complaint would be forwarded to the Complaints and Internal Investigations Branch at the police headquarters.

september 6 mong kok 12 year old girl tackled
File photo: Internet screenshot.

Police Commissioner Chris Tang also said in late September that a complaint about the incident had been referred to the force’s complaints branch at the time, Hong Kong Economic Times reported.

Riot police deployed in force across Yau Tsim Mong that day after banning a protest on what would have been polling day for the now-postponed Legislative Council elections. Protesters were unhappy at the government decision to delay the LegCo polls for a year citing the coronavirus.

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Selina Cheng is a Hong Kong journalist who previously worked with HK01, Quartz and AFP Beijing. She also covered the Umbrella Movement for AP and reported for a newspaper in France. Selina has studied investigative reporting at the Columbia Journalism School.