Truth unmasked! (part 2 of 2)
Updated: Apr 19, 2020
In a recent survey 70% of HK people believe the Police have acted unprofessionally in recent protests! Events like those in Tuen Mun contribute to public perceptions of the Police.
This is the story of local residents' peaceful protesting in their community on Monday 28 and Wednesday 30 October 2019 in Kin Sang, Tuen Mun, New Territories (N.T.), Hong Kong (HK). Most protesters are local residents - only a few black shirt young protesters. This was the 21st week of mass ongoing public protests against the HK Government.
The Police Tai Hing Operational Base is on the Tsun Wen Road into Tuen Mun. It's immediate neighbor to the West is "The Providence Garden for Rehab" a multi-storey Rehabilitation Center. To the South, on the other side of Tsun Wen Road, is high rise residential building Yat Sang House, Siu Hing Court (into which the Police fired a tear gas canister on the evening of 28 October 2019 onto the 7th floor) and to the South West high rise residential building Blossum Garden Block 2 (into which the Police fired a tear gas canister during the evening of 28 October 2019 onto a 2nd floor terrace garden). There are primary and secondary schools in the area. Within walking distance is Tuen Mun Hospital.
On Friday 1 November 2019 RTHK reported (quote):
"The government said on Friday that firefighters and environmental officials had failed to find any unusual odour in the Tuen Mun area last Monday, despite multiple emergency calls and reports from residents.
Several people were taken to hospital after feeling unwell, with complaints of breathing difficulties and skin rashes.
Fears that residents had inhaled tear gas led to nighttime protests in Tuen Mun on Monday and Wednesday, despite police denying they had been testing the weapon at the area's Tai Hing Operational Base.
The Fire Services Department said it received 18 emergency calls about a pungent odour in the New Territories town between 3.33pm and 4.25pm on Monday, and it dispatched personnel to investigate. It said officers had entered the police base for checks, but nothing unusual was found there, or in the nearby roads. The Environmental Protection Department also received 10 complaints about a smell in Tuen Mun between 3.50pm and 4.59pm. But when staff arrived in the area at 5.35pm, they couldn't trace any smell, a statement said.
The government added that the police had also received "multiple reports" of an irritating odour from 3.34pm on Monday, but "initial investigations could not confirm the odour's cause and origin".
The statement played down the likelihood that wind changes bringing higher levels of ozone could have caused the problem, because ozone levels that day were not particularly high.
It said the relevant departments would conduct follow-up investigations if any new information comes to light or the odour returns." At this time of year prevailing winds are North to Northeasterly - which is the location of the Police station roughly 30 meters across the road from residential high rise building Yat Sang House, Siu Hing Court.
On the afternoon of 28 October 2019 it appears, based on the events of that evening, that the Police did not adequately engage the Kin Sang community to reassure them that they were not testing or using tear gas or any other toxic gases and would not in the future.
On the evening of 28 October 2019 several hundred residents started a peaceful protest outside their residential blocks, in the surrounding streets and outside the Police station. They demanded the Police come out and answer their questions on the toxic gas which they claim came from the Police station.
At around 10pm, protesters set up a makeshift roadblock on Leung Wan Street outside the police station, and threw bricks and a petrol bomb into a nearby Bank of China branch. They also damaged the glass door of a restaurant owned by Fulum group, which protesters suspect is owned by triads who have attacked them. Police fired tear gas canisters after giving a warning.
Riot police marched through Kin Sang pointing tear gas rifles towards local residents standing by, and entering into the gardens of private residences. They subdued multiple residents, and the protests gradually died down after midnight.
The Kin Sang residents once again asked that the Police inform them within 48 hours on what produced the toxic gas that the residents believe came from the Police base, and sought assurances that this would not happen again.
28 October 2019 Kin Sang, Tuen Mun, HK. Photos from Hong Kong Free Press
There being no response within 48 hours from the Police, residents peacefully protested on the evening of 30 October 2019.
A total of 73 people were arrested by Police - most were residents.
Man Shek Fong-yau, a former police constable known for organising pro-Beijing events, appeared outside the base with approximately 30 people at around 8:30pm. He was seen arguing with residents. Shek and his group chanted, “Hong Kong cockroaches, the vermin of the times” – a play on the popular pro-democracy slogan, “Liberate Hong Kong, the revolution of our times.” His group also shone flashlights at reporters, obstructing their view. Police outside the base raised a blue warning flag calling on protesters to disperse saying that they were participating in an unlawful assembly. An officer told Shek “You can go now,” prompting his group to leave the scene, according to In-media.
Residents refused to leave despite the police warning. One shouted “Did you fire tear gas on October 28? Explain! Don’t waste our time!” Around 20 minutes after the police warning, black-clad protesters began to remove handrailings and form roadblocks. Several black-clad protesters and residents were arrested soon after.
At the lobby of Yat Sang House in Siu Hin Court, police ordered residents to kneel down with their hands in the air or behind their backs. Some residents shouted “Corrupt cops, may your whole family die!”
At around 10pm, a man and a woman appeared to taunt the police by dancing in front of them. The pair entered Dan Yatai, a Japanese restaurant in the area, as officers attempted to chase after them.
【屯門即時】老闆拒警入舖搜查 疑有男警制服拘捕老闆娘 【屯門即時】老闆拒警無搜令入舖被捕 疑有男警制服拘捕老闆娘 2250 警方於良德街一間名為「東屋台」的餐廳前，聲稱疑有示威者匿藏在內，要求進內搜查。兩名店主拒絕，表示要有搜查令才可進內。理論期間，警員突然發難推撞店主並作出拘捕，有疑男警員多度拉扯女店員，並將其壓倒在地。其他警員則不斷以強光電筒照射記者，阻擋拍攝。有警員不斷強調為女警作出拘捕和制服，並表示「有啲女警比較大隻啲」。警員最後進入舖內對兩名食客搜身查問，其後獲放行，然而警員未有解釋何以在無合理懷疑及搜查令下強行進入私人店舖。攝/Bun, Chinwa Posted by 城市廣播 City Broadcasting Channel (CBC) on Wednesday, 30 October 2019
An officer told two of the restaurant’s shopkeepers – also a man and a woman – that the pair inside were suspects and that police had to enter to arrest them. The police threatened to arrest the shopkeepers for obstruction after they refused to allow police to enter. Officers then pulled the shopkeepers out of the restaurant and arrested them, before ordering the original two suspects to show their identification documents.
Residents continued to gather outside the police base as police attempted to disperse them several times.
At around midnight, protesters hurled petrol bombs at the police base, prompting the police to fire three bean bag rounds from inside the facility, which narrowly missed nearby reporters.
There are unconfirmed reports that without permission the Police entered two private residential high rise blocks and one private restaurant and arrested residents and protesters.
Clearly the Police in Tai Hing Operational Base have a problem in their relationship with the local Kin Sang community. Firing tear gas, pepper spray, hitting residents over the head with batons and arresting residents is NOT going to improve trust, respect nor community relations with the Police!
This is PERSONAL - this is NOT over!
Residents have noticed that there are Police dogs inside the Police station. The Police have used unmasked Police dogs whilst firing tear gas - which is an act of animal cruelty.
Tourist buses have been seen dropping off small numbers of men wearing green fatigues carrying large backpacks. If these were HK Policemen most likely a small Police van would transport them. Local residents speculate these are mainland Police. Tuen Mun is close to the border with China.
Video 28 October 2019:
Video 30 October 2019:
30 October 2019 Kin Sang, Tuen Mun, HK. Photos from Hong Kong Free Press