Date
24 July 2019
IPCC will form a special task force to follow up on the handling of complaints against police. Its chairman Anthony Neoh (center) said a police officers facing complaints will be treated with a presumption of innocence. Photo: RTHK
IPCC will form a special task force to follow up on the handling of complaints against police. Its chairman Anthony Neoh (center) said a police officers facing complaints will be treated with a presumption of innocence. Photo: RTHK

Police pledge fair and impartial probe of June 12 clashes

The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) and Hong Kong Police Force will conduct a thorough probe into the clashes between protesters against the extradition bill and police officers outside the Legislative Council complex in Admiralty on June 12.

At a regular IPCC meeting on Tuesday, acting assistant police commissioner Tammy Mak Wai-man said the council had received 34 complaints regarding the clashes as of Monday, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Edwina Lau Chi-wai, management services director of the police force, said the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) will set up a special team to deal with the complaints with utmost fairness and impartiality.

The team, comprising 13 officers who have no links with the police operations, will investigate how the protest was handled, Lau said.

Although it has set no time limit, the team will seek to complete its probe as soon as possible, she added.

IPCC secretary-general Richard Yu Koon-hing said four of the complaints were related to police brutality, while the others were mainly about police misconduct.

As for the 27 complaints of alleged police abuses that the Hong Kong Journalists Association has asked to be investigated, the IPCC said it has forwarded them to the CAPO.

The police watchdog will set up a special task force to follow up on the handling of complaints against officers.

IPCC chairman Anthony Francis Neoh said the task force will have experienced members who can provide objective assessments based on uniform standards.

Neoh stressed that the officers facing complaints will be treated with a presumption of innocence.

The watchdog will also come up with its own report regarding the disturbances, RTHK quoted Neoh as saying.

Meanwhile, the seven men and one woman arrested during the Admiralty clashes on June 12 on suspicion of loitering have been unconditionally released. Police said they have decided that there is no sufficient evidence to charge the eight with the offense.

During the clashes last Wednesday, dozens of people, including protesters and police officers, were injured. The protesters assailed the police for using excessive force.

According to the latest survey released by the Public Opinion Programme of the University of Hong Kong on Tuesday, police satisfaction rating has hit its second-lowest level since the surveys began.

The police force obtained a rating of 61 marks, the lowest since May 2016 and lower than those received by the other eight disciplinary forces, according to the survey, which was based on random phone interviews conducted from June 3 to 6. The survey covered 1,006 Cantonese-speaking residents in Hong Kong aged 18 and above.

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