Several thousand people took to the streets to denounce a court decision handing a jail sentence to a retired police superintendent for assaulting a pedestrian at the height of the pro-democracy protests in 2014.
Organizers said about 7,000 supporters of Frankly Chu King-wai, a former commander at the Sha Tin police division, joined the march on Sunday, although police estimated the crowd at about 3,000 at its peak, Apple Daily reports.
Many participants tied a piece of black cloth around their forehead to show that “justice is dead in Hong Kong” while others carried placards calling the judge who ruled on the case a “dog”.
The protesters also expressed their support for effective law enforcement by the police. The organizers urged the government to set up a commission to monitor how justice is administered in the city.
Last Wednesday a magistrate at the Eastern Magistrates’ Court handed a three-month jail term to Chu for attacking a pedestrian with his baton at the height of the 2014 Occupy protests in Mong Kok.
Principal Magistrate Bina Chainrai said she saw the need to send a deterrent message to police officers and to restore public confidence in the force. Chu had claimed that using the baton was the only effective means because the protesting crowd was in a state of “active aggression” when the incident happened.
Chu was set free on bail after his sentencing, pending an appeal against his conviction.
Retired magistrate Symon Wong Yu-Wing, who joined the protest, said it is the police who suffer unfair treatment when a judge renders a sentence that does not meet public and police expectations.
Innes Tang Tak-shing, convenor of the pro-establishment group Politihk Social Strategic, said their demonstration did not involve any political groups or fundraising activities.
Judges in Hong Kong should be monitored by citizens and Hong Kong does not need any foreign judges, Tang said, referring to Chainrai, who was born in India but was raised, studied and worked in Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung also expressed his view on the case on Sunday, saying he felt very sorry about the jail term Chu received, adding that he has ordered that a task force be formed to review the guidelines on the use of force by the police.
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