Sup­port pours in for Hong Kong po­lice

Global Times US Edition - - FRONT PAGE - By Wang Cong and Chen Qingqing in Hong Kong

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.

Grow­ing sup­port

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.

Strength­ened con­fi­dence

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

Pho­tos: Chen Qingqing/gt

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.