Discrimination case: police had 'no interest' in hearing Indian boy's side

Mother of teen suing for discrimination says officer ignored efforts to explain incident

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 09 April, 2014, 1:18pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 10 April, 2014, 4:03am

The mother of a teenage science prodigy suing a policeman for racial discrimination said officers were "not interested" when she and her son tried to explain his innocence, the District Court heard yesterday.

Arjun Singh, 15 and of Indian descent, alleges that officer Hung Kai-kam ignored his complaint and arrested him after Singh and a Chinese woman reported each other for assault four years ago.

Earlier the court heard that Singh, who was 11 at the time, bumped into the woman, Chan Yuet-lai, when rushing past her on an escalator in Wan Chai MTR station on January 6, 2010. Singh said Chan grabbed him by the arm and refused to let him go.

Singh accused Hung of favouring Chan's version of the incident over his own because of Singh's race.

The teenager's mother, Anita, told the court: "Since there was a crowd, [the officers] had to act as if they were listening to us but they weren't interested."

She said Hung wanted to "show his power". Several MTR staff members guarded her son "as if he was a criminal", she said, leaving him "traumatised and terrorised".

The teenager said Hung arrested him without sufficient investigation. Defence counsel Stewart Wong Kai-ming SC said Hung had spoken to Singh, his mother and two other witnesses for some 40 minutes before making the arrest.

But Anita Singh said that Hung told her son he was going to arrest him in their first conversation, and repeatedly mentioned the word "arrest". She did not think an 11-year-old could be arrested and only understood that her son was under arrest after her husband paid his bail at the police station that night, she said.

Wong said that neither she nor her son had accused Chan of any crime at the scene. Her son had told Hung that Chan had grabbed her son's arm and would not let go, Anita Singh replied.

The teenager, now studying physics at King's College London, said he had nightmares and anxiety as a result of the incident.

Arjun Singh is suing Hung and the government for breach of the Racial Discrimination Ordinance. He wants an apology and Hung's conduct to be investigated. He is also seeking damages for unlawful arrest.

The hearing continues today.