Two police officers have been arrested on suspicion of assault after they were caught on security camera beating a 62-year-old man in a hospital bed.
The video, taken on June 26 from 2:25am, appeared to show the officers punching the man’s genitals, slapping his face, thrusting a baton at him, and threatening him as he lay restrained in a hospital bed. Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who has been helping the man’s family, showed the footage at a press conference on Tuesday.
Mr Chung, a Sheung Shui resident, was arrested at around 11pm on June 25 for assaulting an officer while drunk. He was sent to a psychiatric ward in North District Hospital, where his limbs were tied to the bed frame.
The Hospital Authority has confirmed two uniformed officers and one plainclothes officer was present at the time of the assault, Lam said.
At one point in the clip, an officer is seen covering Chung’s face with his top, blocking his airways for around 10 seconds. The other officer is shown forcing Chung’s eyes open while shining a bright torchlight into them.
Chung’s two sons said at the press conference that their father recalled an officer saying “You have peed your clothes, eat your pee.” The officer then slapped Chung’s head and pressed down on his eye with his hand.
According to Chung’s son, his father recollected being punched in the abdomen by an officer who said: “This is how dirty cops like us do it.”
The two constables reportedly threatened to harm Chung’s family, and read the names and addresses of his wife and two sons aloud.
Chung apparently tried to complain about his treatment to a third officer, who briefly entered the room, but was ignored.
He was reported to have sustained an injury to his mouth, multiple bruises across his body, pain in his genital area, and a torn muscle in his right-hand ring finger, which was kept in a brace for three weeks.
‘I want justice’
Chung informed his two sons of the incident when he returned home after being released on bail.
His sons have filed a complaint to the Complaints Against Police Office — an internal police department — but have yet to be invited to give statements.
Chung’s youngest son described the officers as lawless: “I want these crazy officers imprisoned,” he said. “I want justice.”
During the press conference, he also removed his sunglasses and mask, saying: “I did not do anything wrong. Why do I have to wear this?”
Lam said the video evidence suggests the officers may have committed the offence of torture, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.
“This brings shame to the Hong Kong police. This is a dark page of the police’s history,” he said.
Lam said the third officer may have committed misconduct in public office by failing to stop the incident.
He demanded the police chief suspend the three officers immediately and investigate the incident. He also asked the officers to give themselves up.
“The police top brass has to be very concerned about the mental status of officers. Are these people suitable to be on duty or to be police officers? I believe the public must have their answers,” he said.
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