Cops on top
Eddie Hui Kei-on: 1994-2001
Died of liver cancer on May 3, 2009. The longest-serving Chinese commissioner. In December 1999, a scuffle broke out between 2,000 protesters and police outside the Central Government Offices after 17 children of Hong Kong residents lost an appeal for their right of abode. Police used pepper spray and batons against the protesters. In June 2000, police used pepper spray against 20 protesters lying outside the Central Government Offices, fighting for the right of abode.
Tsang Yam-pui: Jan 2001- Dec 2003
Younger brother of Donald Tsang Yam-kuen, who was then chief secretary. Organisers criticised police for using excessive force against protesters during the Fortune Global Forum, which was attended by president Jiang Zemin in May 2001. Officers pressed against protesters' throats and noses when trying to arrested them. They also confiscated a paper coffin, symbolising mainland curbs on democracy. Four were arrested. Some 500,000 protesters staged protests peacefully on July 1, 2003. Police confiscated a loudspeaker when the Democratic Party staged a protest outside the Po Lam station in August 2002, when the Tseung Kwan O line opened.
Dick Lee Ming-kwai: Dec 2003 to Jan 2007
Famously ordered Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to be played through loudspeakers to drown out anti-Beijing slogans outside the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre during the handover ceremony in 1997. More than 900 were arrested and more than 100 were injured when thousands protested outside the Convention and Exhibition Centre against WTO meeting in December 2005. Police used water cannons, tear gas and bean bag rounds against the protesters.
Tang King-shing: Jan 2007 to Jan 2011
Dubbed 'Sorry Sir'
At least 105 protesters were arrested during his term, of whom 19 were arrested outside the central government's liaison office in Western district. He deployed over 1,000 police officers, including 400 to defend the front and back doors of the liaison office, during a 2010 New Year Protest, in which 30,000 demonstrators took part. An online TV station cameraman complained that a police officer poked his eyes. Tang also deployed 1,200 police officers and used pepper spray against 1,700 protesters in the anti-express railway rally outside Legco building in January 2010. Earned the nickname 'Sorry Sir' after apologising on three occasions for police behaviour.