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Hong Kong Police Officers Suspended After Video Of Beating Occupy Central Protester Goes Viral

With Beijing and the authorities in Hong Kong unwilling to negotiate, Occupy Central pro-democracy protesters have been forced to continue their protests in Hong Kong for the right to a free election in 2017. Initially the Hong Kong authorities were hoping to wait the protesters out but have apparently lost patience and are now trying to forcibly remove protesters.

That removal campaign has come under criticism after video surfaced of Hong Kong police officers beating a protester that was handcuffed and in police custody. The officers involved have reportedly been suspended.* The video of the beating caused outrage among the public and some political leaders who called the excessive use of force offensive to Hong Kong’s values and traditions.

Though part of China, Hong Kong had previously maintained a more open society than on the mainland. This included less repressive security forces than found in areas directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Ironically, the protests were partly instigated due to the fear that the repression seen on the mainland would come to Hong Kong if Beijing were in control of elections.

The video was shot in the early morning hours and shows half a dozen police officers hauling a person in plastic handcuffs around a dark corner and then taking turns kicking him repeatedly while he was on the ground. It was captured in a dark, 51-second video that clearly showed the word “police” on the shirts of the people carrying and beating the protester.

“This is a Hong Kong we don’t recognize anymore,” said Lee Cheuk-yan, a Hong Kong legislator, at a news conference, referring to front-line police as “black cops.” Pro-democracy legislators including Mr. Lee are calling for a full investigation into the highest levels of the police department.

The strong arm tactics police are using against the protesters, including those shown in the video, could sway the public towards the protesters. The Hong Kong authorities were at one point hoping the inconveniences and economic losses resulting from the protests would turn the public against Occupy Central but videos of police brutality may neutralize those sentiments.

This is not the first time the Hong Kong police’s tactics have backfired. The protests against Beijing control of the 2017 elections have been nicknamed the Umbrella Revolution due to protesters using umbrellas to protect themselves against the pepper spray and tear gas being used by Hong Kong police. The umbrella has now become a global symbol of solidarity with the Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters.

* There is some question as to whether the police officers were suspended or reassigned.


Picture from istolethetv licensed under Creative Commons

CommunityThe Bullpen

Hong Kong Police Officers Suspended After Video Of Beating Occupy Central Protester Goes Viral

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With Beijing and the authorities in Hong Kong unwilling to negotiate, Occupy Central pro-democracy protesters have been forced to continue their protests in Hong Kong for the right to a free election in 2017. Initially the Hong Kong authorities were hoping to wait the protesters out but have apparently lost patience and are now trying to forcibly remove protesters.

That removal campaign has come under criticism after video surfaced of Hong Kong police officers beating a protester that was handcuffed and in police custody. The officers involved have reportedly been suspended.* The video of the beating caused outrage among the public and some political leaders who called the excessive use of force offensive to Hong Kong’s values and traditions.

Though part of China, Hong Kong had previously maintained a more open society than on the mainland. This included less repressive security forces than found in areas directly controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. Ironically, the protests were partly instigated due to the fear that the repression seen on the mainland would come to Hong Kong if Beijing were in control of elections.

The video was shot in the early morning hours and shows half a dozen police officers hauling a person in plastic handcuffs around a dark corner and then taking turns kicking him repeatedly while he was on the ground. It was captured in a dark, 51-second video that clearly showed the word “police” on the shirts of the people carrying and beating the protester.

“This is a Hong Kong we don’t recognize anymore,” said Lee Cheuk-yan, a Hong Kong legislator, at a news conference, referring to front-line police as “black cops.” Pro-democracy legislators including Mr. Lee are calling for a full investigation into the highest levels of the police department.

The strong arm tactics police are using against the protesters, including those shown in the video, could sway the public towards the protesters. The Hong Kong authorities were at one point hoping the inconveniences and economic losses resulting from the protests would turn the public against Occupy Central but videos of police brutality may neutralize those sentiments.

This is not the first time the Hong Kong police’s tactics have backfired. The protests against Beijing control of the 2017 elections have been nicknamed the Umbrella Revolution due to protesters using umbrellas to protect themselves against the pepper spray and tear gas being used by Hong Kong police. The umbrella has now become a global symbol of solidarity with the Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters.

* There is some question as to whether the police officers were suspended or reassigned.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.