Police chief promises fair inquiry into shooting of Nepali man

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 March, 2009, 12:00am

The police commissioner yesterday promised a full and fair investigation into the death of a Nepali man who was shot in the head on a hillside in Ho Man Tin on Tuesday.

'Our colleagues will be fair and impartial to conduct a thorough investigation,' Police Commissioner Tang King-shing said after a police passing-out parade. 'After completing the probe, the report will be submitted to the Coroner's Court.'

Mr Tang said officers had been trained to be fair and impartial in carrying out their duties and dealing with people.

He added that police officers had organised various activities to enhance communications with ethnic minority groups in the city.

He refused to comment on public concerns about the language barrier as a factor in the fatal shooting, in which the Nepali was given warnings in Cantonese before he was shot.

Ethnic minority and human rights concern groups were concerned that the language barrier had been a factor after a one-minute videotape showed that the constable issued his warnings in Cantonese.

They said the victim might not have understood the warnings and also questioned the policeman's justification for shooting.

Police said the victim was a 31-year-old Hong Kong-born Nepali, who was suspected of living on a hillside opposite Lok Man Sun Chuen in Ho Man Tin.

Tuesday's shooting happened after a woman complained about the man urinating on the hillside. The constable went up the hill alone to investigate but was punched and beaten with a wooden chair during an identity check.

The officer shot at the man twice after using up his pepper spray, dropping his baton and falling to the ground during the attack. The first shot missed and the second shot hit his head.

Mr Tang said the constable, whose back and arms were injured, was still on sick leave. Detectives from the Kowloon City district crime squad are investigating.

Meanwhile, at the passing-out parade for 32 probationary inspectors and 199 constable recruits, Secretary for Security Ambrose Lee Siu-kwong said: 'Training is paramount to the police force, which is the key to success in advancing the force's professionalism and service quality.'

He said the force had to meet increasing challenges to policing.