Used baton as 'extension of my arm', says police officer

July 22, 2015 11:53
Chu King-wai (inset), accused of beating up some people during a November Occupy incident, says he used his baton to merely pat the backs of a few persons. Photos: Now TV

A police officer who has been accused of using excessive force against some people during the 2014 Occupy movement has denied the charges, saying that he had merely "unintentionally touched" a few persons with his baton.  

Superintendent Chu King-wai, former commander of the Sha Tin police division, said there is no basis to a complaint filed against him that he had beaten up some passers-by during a clearing operation in Mong Kok in November.

In his testimony that was acquired by Ming Pao Daily, Chu told the Complaints Against Police Office (CAPO) at least three times that he only patted some people with his baton.

He also said the person who lodged the complaint against him, a man named Osman Cheng Chung-hang, was not a passer-by but actually one of the demonstrators.

Claiming that he used the baton "as extension of my arm" to nudge Cheng forward, Chu said in the testimony recorded on April 21 that the complainant would have fallen to the ground or suffered injury if he was really beaten up.

The testimony came after some video clips of the incident suggested that Chu had used his baton against some pedestrians without any warning.

Chu pointed out that he was once an instructor at the police tactical unit, and therefore knows very well how to use a baton if he really wanted to bring down any opponent.

Responding to the news, Civic Party lawmaker Claudia Mo said she believes that Chu had just tried to play with words during his testimony, using phrases such as "unintentionally touched" and "I only used the baton as an extension of my arm to (pat) his back”.

The reference to baton as an extension of his arm is "laughable", Mo said, adding that Chu may have been deploying some internal jargon of the police.

After learning about the testimony, Cheng said the police should present evidence to back up their claims that he was a protester when the incident took place.

Meanwhile, he remarked sarcastically whether a police officer could also claim that firing a bullet could be considered as "extension of the arm".

Members of the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) concluded in 12-6 vote on July 10 that Chu used his baton to beat two passers-by, and that the officer may have abused his power.

CAPO, meanwhile, has suggested that the police watchdog reconsider its decision.

The council could decide Wednesday whether members should meet again to review the case before Chu retires on Thursday.

Council chairman Larry Kwok Lam-kwong said in a radio program Monday that the decision is unlikely to be altered unless new evidence comes up.

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