Support pours in for Hong Kong police
Infuriated and frustrated over radical elements in Hong Kong and their foreign conspirators’ persistent attacks on the city’s police force, which has been under tremendous pressure since June, some police officers, even their family members, said they have been constantly attacked by radical anti-government protesters, while Western media and some Hong Kong press gave no voice to them.
May, the wife of a Hong Kong police officer who participated in the recent law enforcement work in the city, lives in a neighborhood where many other police officers’ family members reside.
Following recent riots when biased media reports exaggerated the police abusing force and intentionally ignored the reason for the use of force, the image of so-called police cracking down on Hong Kong citizens has become tangible
pressure in the community, she told the Global Times.
May said she has been receiving strange phone calls in the middle of the night lately where there is no voice on the other end of the line, and many others like her are harassed by radical protesters.
Children of police officers have also reportedly been harassed or isolated at school after their identities were exposed.
The wife said after the mob stormed into the Hong Kong Legislative Council building in July, her daughter, who is in college, texted her and said “Mom, how about we move to the mainland? It’s too scary here.”
Such scary and helpless sentiment is now shared by many police officers’ families, and also by police officers themselves.
Since June 9, over 1,200 Hong Kong police officers’ personal data and their families’ were leaked online, including their phone numbers, addresses, ID numbers. Some even publicly incited and abetted others to kill police officers and hurt their children, the Hong Kong police said on Thursday.
Police officers have received threats and some and their families have even been harassed after their personal information was leaked, Ronny Chan, chairman of the Superintendents’ Association of the Hong Kong Police Force, told reporters at the police headquarters on Thursday.
“The pressure on the officers, both physical and emotional, is enormous,” he said.
The Global Times reporters saw widespread online attacks against the Hong Kong police, and some anti-government protesters leaked police officers’ pictures on social networks like Telegram and LIHKG.
During the dispersal operations after violent riots occurred in recent protests, protesters also threw umbrella, bricks, and corrosive liquids at the police.
The Hong Kong Police Force, which is the only law enforcement agency in the city, has become the biggest victim in political fights incited by local radical groups and some Western forces. And while public support is necessary, more concrete actions need to be taken to change the situation, a former senior leader at the police force told the Global Times on Thursday.
Facing growing pressure, Hong Kong police representatives said they still have confidence in maintaining social order, and they received encouragement not only from Hong Kong but also from the Chinese mainland.
The growing public support, coming on top of powerful backing from the central government and the Chinese military, offers much-needed encouragement for the police once hailed as Asia’s finest but lately under serious pressure and in grave danger from physical and verbal attacks by violent protesters and their foreign backers.
On the mainland, where many young people grew up watching Hong Kong crime movies and developed an admiration for Hong Kong police officers, many took to social media to express their anger toward the radical anti-government elements and foreign media.
“The officers have been very restrained and professional. I express respect to the excellent Hong Kong police officers who have carried out their duty in spite of slander,” one net user wrote on Wechat.
In Hong Kong where the narrative has been dominated by radical voices – and rational voices could result in retribution from the violent groups – many have also voiced support for the police force.
Angus Ng Hok Ming, a young Hong Kong resident, said that the police officers have behaved admirably responding to violent protests but “they have been constantly misunderstood, smeared as well as violently attacked.”
He said he saw videos of officers being splashed with corrosive substances and being beaten to bleed, and even though police officers have the ability to contain the situation, they did not want to hurt people.
As support continued to pour in, some Hong Kong police officers said they were touched and vowed to do their job better to restore peace and order in the city and bring those who have broken the law to justice.
“We are truly encouraged,” Chan said, noting that nonstop work hours, smear campaigns and even violent threats against them and their families have taken a physical and emotional toll.
With the support of the public and the central government, the Hong Kong Police Force is confident it can bring all those who have broken the law to justice, Wilkie Ng Wai-kei, chief inspector at the Hong Kong Police Tactical Unit headquarters, told reporters on Thursday.
“No matter how hard it is, as an important force in Hong Kong society ruled by law, we have to keep going. If we fail, there’s no city at all,” Chan said. Yang Sheng and Zhao Yusha contributed to this story
Messages sent to the Hong Kong police that express appreciation for their professionalism in handling violent protests are displayed inside the headquarters of the Hong Kong Police Force in Wan Chai on Thursday. Insets (top left): Wilkie NG Wai-kei, chief inspector at the Hong Kong Police Tactical Unit headquarters; (bottom left): Ronny Chan, chairman of Superintendents’ Association of the Hong Kong Police Force.