The name of the police commander for an area in Yuen Long that saw violent mob attacks on Sunday has been removed from the government’s public phone directory. The move comes after netizens accused the Pat Heung division commander of colluding with the attackers in widely-shared video footage.
As of Tuesday morning, Li Hon-man’s name had disappeared from the government contact list. HKFP called the number of the division commander provided in the directory, but no-one picked up.
On Sunday night, a group of unknown men in white attacked people at Yuen Long MTR station with bamboo sticks and metal bars, among other weapons. The incident left at least 45 people injured including journalists and a lawmaker. At least six have since been arrested over the attacks.
“I don’t know if we were late, we got the call and then we came. As for how long we took to arrive, I couldn’t see my watch, sorry,” he told the reporter.
He said the scene was messy: “How could we have a chance to look at our watches?”
Infuriating: Li Hon Man, a Hong Kong police division commander, tells reporters he has no idea whether cops were late to the scene in Yuen Long — where bands of thugs were beating civilians bloody with impunity — because he "couldn't see his watch."
I added subtitles—pls share. pic.twitter.com/W75RtwXlnL
— wilfred chan (@wilfredchan) July 22, 2019
Li refused to answer further questions and told the journalist to approach the police public relations branch. “I’m telling you, you’re not going to scare me this way,” Li added.
In another widely shared clip, Li was seen apparently speaking to a group of people who had gathered on the same night. They asked him if the police had cleared the crowd by putting them onto public transport, though the identity of the group – and to whom they were referring – is unclear.
One of the men is heard saying: “If they don’t leave, we will clear them out.”
Li patted one of the men on the shoulder, and said: “I appreciate your concern. But I don’t want your assistance to make our job more difficult… don’t worry, okay?”
A spokesperson later told HKFP that Li was still the Pat Heung division commander, but did not comment further.
On Monday, Police Commissioner Stephen Lo rejected any claims of collusion with triads amid questions over the slow response.