Police chief gives pep talk to staff amid continuing clashes

July 30, 2019 14:15
Police Commissioner Stephen Lo urged his officers to remain united and committed to their sworn duties. Photo: Bloomberg

Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung said he is very proud of his officers' unselfish devotion to duty during recent clashes with protesters.

In an internal letter to all members of the police force on Monday, Lo said he understands how hard it is for officers to be on the frontlines facing protesters in hot and humid weather in order to fulfill their duty of maintaining law and order, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

"In the past month or so, duties required officers to work for prolonged hours. They were often subject to fierce attacks by the protesters, and sometimes officers were injured," the police chief wrote in the letter.

"The exceptional level of professionalism and courage that you displayed successfully restored  public order ... [Your] enormous contribution ... is obvious in the eyes of the public and I am really proud of that," Lo added.

Lo's pep talk came after protesters accused police officers of using excessive force in their clearance operations in Sheung Wan and Yuen Long on Sunday, and of doing nothing to protect citizens while they were being attacked by white-clad gangsters at the Yuen Long MTR Station on the night of July 21.

Lo said in his letter that he is pained and saddened after seeing officers' dignity being trampled on by some protesters' lawless acts and groundless accusations against the force in the past few weeks.

He urged his officers to stay united and remain committed to their sworn duties in order to "fight for our home city".

Speaking to media last Friday, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said the way the police force handled the incident at the Yuen Long MTR Station on July 21 “fell short of people’s expectations”.

In response, the Hong Kong Police Inspectors’ Association said Cheung's remarks had written off their efforts and shattered their belief in their duty. The association also urged Cheung to meet its representatives as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, a school official at the Hong Kong Chinese Christian Churches Union Logos Academy came under fire after remarks he purportedly made on social media were criticized for allegedly promoting hatred for the police.

A person using the name "Alvin Tai" on his social media page condemned police officers for the way they handled protests against the extradition bill. 

He allegedly wished that the officers' children would die from accidents before turning seven years old.

The owner of the page was found to be Alvin Tai Kin-fai, assistant principal of the Hong Kong Chinese Christian Churches Union Logos Academy. 

Four employee associations of the Police Force Council then jointly wrote to the school to condemn Tai's "inhumane" remarks.

Former Hong Kong chief executive Leung Chun-ying, who is currently a vice-chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body, also wrote a letter to the school's chancellor to ask that Tai be relieved of all of his posts.

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