Hong Kong police are investigating a Facebook post in which officers are shown paying a Lunar New Year greeting while holding assault weapons.
Officials said an internal inquiry is under way in response to criticism by the public, Ming Pao Daily reported Monday.
The post shows a dozen uniformed policemen from the police tactical unit in two rows, with those in the back holding red banners proclaiming “Full of happiness in the Year of the Goat”.
Those in front are shown holding high-powered rifles.
The post went viral and initially received favorable response, drawing 1,000 likes.
Subsequently, however, criticism began to emerge, with some netizens questioning the use of weapons in the photo.
Civic Party leader Alan Leong, a senior barrister, criticized the photo as “inappropriate”, saying uniformed policemen should be on duty, not doing things unrelated to their work.
He said the officers might have breached the police internal code of conduct.
However, Democratic Party legislator James To, a practising lawyer, said people should go easy on the policemen if the photo was taken after they had just completed training or were off duty.
Policemen also wear uniform in their graduation pictures, he said.
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