2 charged over scuffles at housing estate after management allegedly barred people in black

Dozens of angry residents from the Richland Gardens surround the housing estate’s management office after it emerged that  the door codes for all the buildings had been changed and that the estate’s security were blocking people in black shirts from entering. Screengrab via Facebook/RTHK.
Dozens of angry residents from the Richland Gardens surround the housing estate’s management office after it emerged that the door codes for all the buildings had been changed and that the estate’s security were blocking people in black shirts from entering. Screengrab via Facebook/RTHK.

Two men have been charged with disorderly conduct in a public place over scuffles that took place on Saturday at a housing estate accused of barring entry to people wearing black.

Defendants Lam Chi-hing and Ling Sing-chung, aged 35 and 26, respectively, appeared at Kwun Tong Magistrates’ Court this morning, two days after they were arrested following a small protest outside the Richland Gardens housing estate’s management office in Kowloon Bay. Lam is a social worker, while Ling works in a post office, and both are Richland Gardens residents, HK01 reports.

The prosecution told the court that the pair allegedly hit a police vehicle and yelled “dirty cops” at officers before their arrest.

The court adjourned the case until Oct. 21 pending further investigation, and the pair were released on bail of HK$4,000 (about US$510), Stand News reports. The pair must also abide by a curfew, and are not allowed within 10 meters of the estate’s management office.

The incident in question took place on Saturday evening, following a major rally in Kwun Tong, when the management office for Richland Gardens announced it had changed the passcodes for all of the buildings in the estate, meaning those without the new passcode or a resident card were unable to enter the premises.

There were also reports that security guards were also prohibiting people wearing black t-shirts — the color of choice for anti-government protesters — from entering the building.

According to HKFP, some Telegram groups had been circulating passcodes to different residential estates to better enable protesters to flee in the event of a police operation.

An angry crowd of residents gathered at the estate’s office to make their displeasure with the move known, with tensions steadily escalating.

Lawmakers Gary Fan and Jeremy Tam were at the scene trying to ease tensions between the angry residents and the management.

Police arrived at the scene later that evening and deployed pepper spray, affecting many residents — as well as Tam.

今日麗晶花園管理公司禁止黑衫住戶入內更擅自改密碼,新密碼星期一先發放,如果保安唔認得你,你就返唔到屋企。有過百街坊到保安部理論,我亦都在場調停。而剛剛有近30警察入內處理,其後收隊開車準備離開時,又突然衝落車無理拘捕兩個住戶、繼而瘋狂撞…

譚文豪 Jeremy Tam 发布于 2019年8月24日周六

In a video report by RTHK from scene, residents can be heard demanding a refund of their management fee and accusing the management office of colluding with police.

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CITY: HONG KONGCATEGORY: NEWSSUB-CATEGORIES: CRIME, POLITICS

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