Video casts doubt on cop's claim student hit him during protest

March 27, 2015 09:58
Lau Kam-wing (inset) testified he was hit in the mouth during the Occupy protests in Mong Kok, but the magistrate said a witness's video showed no sign of the attack. Photos: AFP, Mingpao

A witness's video clip may play a crucial part in the trial of a 17-year-old student accused of assaulting a policeman during the Occupy protests last year.

Constable Lau Kam-wing told Kowloon City Court he was assaulted while trying to clear the streets in the occupation zone in Mong Kok Nov. 28, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

As he tried to help fellow officers in clashes with the protesters, Lau said, the defendant, Ho Pak-hay, suddenly came toward him and hit him in the mouth.

Shouting that a police officer had been assaulted, Lau and his colleagues chased Ho and arrested him, and Lau fell to the ground while trying to grab Ho’s arm, the court heard.

However, a video clip submitted by a witness showed Lau had his back toward Ho when the alleged assault happened, contrary to his claim that Ho hit him from the front.

Magistrate Cheung Kwan-ming said that after watching the video several times, he did not see Ho use his hand to hit Lau.

The constable later changed his statement and said he might have made a mistake about which direction the assault came from.

Cheung ruled the clip was prima facie evidence.

Ho’s lawyer asked Lau why he did not mention having fallen in his oral deposition before the trial.

Lau said he couldn't be certain whether he had fallen, because he was concentrating at the time on trying to arrest Ho.

The lawyer said the clip suggested Ho just bumped into Lau carelessly rather than making a frontal attack on him.

The witness, surnamed Yeung, who shot the video of the protests said she was merely trying to record a major event in the city's history.

Asked why she would want to come forward and provide the clip, Yeung said she has never met Ho, but all she wants is to see justice upheld.

The trial is set to continue Friday.

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