Police chief says 7 officers can refuse to cooperate

April 24, 2015 13:46
Police chief Andy Tsang (left) says arrested officers have the same rights as anyone else not to cooperate with police, but Ken Tsang (right) said his remarks set a bad precedent. Photos:TVB, AFP

Police Commissioner Andy Tsang defended seven of his subordinates accused of failing to cooperate in an investigation of the beating of an Occupy protester, the Apple Daily reported Friday.

The seven officers allegedly beat up activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu in October during a police clearing operation at Lung Wo Road. They have not been charged.

When the Civic Party member was trying to identify the officers in an identification procedure, several were reportedly uncooperative, looking at the floor and closing their eyes.

The police chief said anyone, regardless of profession and background, can choose not to cooperate with police after being arrested.

He said some lawmakers chose to exercise their right to not cooperate or to remain silent, so “why not police officers who are arrested?”

Ken Tsang, who has filed a judicial review to obtain the personal details of the seven officers to pursue the case privately, said the logic of the police chief’s remarks was flawed.

“With what Andy Tsang has suggested, any person can now choose to hold their heads down and close their eyes during the police identification process?” he said.

Ken Tsang said the police chief was trying to blend the right to remain silent with being uncooperative during a police investigation.

The complainant said police have set a dangerous and bad precedent by allowing their co-workers to fail to respect and comply with the proper procedures in a suspect identification process.

Hong Kong Human Rights Watch member Icarus Wong said the seven officers have obviously taken advantage of their knowledge of the law for their own benefit.

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