Turnout lower than expected at rally for jailed Hong Kong police officers behind Ken Tsang beating
Some 400 people turn up in support of city’s force
About 400 people gathered in Tamar Park on Saturday night to show their support for the seven policemen jailed for attacking Occupy activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu.
That number was well below organisers’ expected turnout of 2,000.
Led by the Alliance in Support of Our Police and the Justice Alliance, the rally started at 6pm in the Admiralty park. Five other pro-Beijing groups took part.
The crowd started off by singing a pro-police song, before chanting “Forgive the police, Support the police for Hong Kong”.
Some wore blue caps and waved glow sticks in the air.
A 60-year-old retired police sergeant, who gave his name as Mr Ma, said the sentencing had been unfair. Ma, who retired five years ago, questioned if dark footage played during the trial had clearly identified the jailed officers. He added that the seven had been using reasonable force to stop a “rioter”.。
And retired correctional services officer, Alfie Au, said the sentence was “way too heavy” and should be three to six months.
Au, 66, who was an officer in the 1970s, described the assault as “not a big deal”, although he admitted that beating people up is wrong.
He said police officers had the authority to use their power, while the Hong Kong police was already “as polite as boy scouts”.
The District Court court last month jailed the seven officers for assaulting activist and social worker Tsang during the Occupy protests in 2014.
All seven have applied to appeal.
The protesters on Saturday yelled angrily, some dispensing foul-mouthed cries, when the organisers played a video of Tsang speaking to the press.
“He’s ridiculous,” some of them yelled, booing.
Organisers also played several videos showing police officers being insulted with offensive and foul language.
The Security Bureau has said that it has no plans to introduce a new law banning insulting behaviour against police, despite some calls for such legislation.
Basic Law Committee member Lau Nai-keung and Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong legislator Wilson Or Chong-sing also appeared at the rally.
Lau said the police had increasingly been insulted over the years and he was worried that some officers would quit because of that.
Or said he hoped Hongkongers would express their opinions rationally and continue to make Hong Kong a safe city.