A retired senior police officer could still face criminal assault charges if he is found to have used excessive force against civilians despite being cleared by an internal police investigation, according to legal sources.
Former Sha Tin division commander Franklin Chu is facing a review by the Department of Justice (DOJ) after being cleared by the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO).
CAPO’s findings are at odds with those of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) which voted last month to uphold a July 10 decision that the complaint against Chu is justified, according to am730.
CAPO submitted the case to the DOJ for review, citing video evidence that purports to show Chu was not targeting any particular individual when he used his baton on civilians during last year’s democracy protests.
It said Chu did not commit assault.
However, legal sources said Chu is still criminally liable if the DOJ finds he used excessive force.
Also, the DOJ will consider the behavior of the alleged victim or victims and if they fought back, they said.
Barrister Albert Luk said Chu could be charged with assault if the use of excessive force is proven.
Meanwhile, IPCC member Kwan Chi-ping might have breached regulations on conflict of interest by failing to declare that Chu is an acquaintance.
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