Hong Kong extradition law: Secretary for Security questioned by legislators about police use of force during June 12 protest

John Lee Ka-chiu was asked why the Special Tactical Squad did not have identification numbers on their uniforms, among other questions

Wong Tsui-kai |

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Secretary for Security, John Lee, was questioned in the Legislative Council.

Legislators called on the government to explain the use of force by police against demonstrators on June 12 at a session of the Legislative Council yesterday morning. John Lee Ka-chiu, Secretary for Security and former deputy commissioner of the police was in the hot seat.

Many legislators asked why the Special Tactical Squad or Speedy Dragons riot officers did not have identification numbers on their uniforms, making it impossible to complain about specific individuals.

The difficulty in making complaints was also aimed at commanders, as Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung said the decision to clear protesters was made by commanders on the scene. But the police have not revealed who those commanders are.

Lee did not say whether this information would be provided to Legco for further investigation. When asked, he added that the Speedy Dragons are assigned gear based on “operational needs”, and did not discuss what those needs are, nor whether officers will be given identification markers in the future. He later said the current uniform’s design has no room for numbers.

Democratic Party chairman Wu Chi-wai, who was at Tim Mei Avenue in Admiralty during the protest, asked why police found it necessary to fire tear gas at him as he was an unarmed legislator standing alone away from general protesters. Lee said all testimony will be taken into account by the Complaints Against Police Officers and pledged a fair investigation.

Of the 32 arrests made on June 12, Police have dropped charges against eight people for loitering due to insufficient evidence, according to the police.

Young Post also asked the police to provide further information about the on-site commanders, but had not received a reply at the time of going to press.

Various grass roots protest organisations have released a joint statement demanding the extradition bill be fully withdrawn and all riot charges dismissed by 5pm on June 20, or they will call for a new wave of protests at 7am on June 21.

Meanwhile, Legco president Andrew Leung Kwan-yuen has called on the government to delay the second reading of the controversial National Anthem law, citing the need for time to calm down.

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