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.
The security guards of Richland Garden, Kowloon Bay, forbade residents who dress in black to return home. They changed the gate’s pass code to prevent residents from entering the building. Residents complained at the management offices. Police came and arrested 3 residents. pic.twitter.com/k6andFx664
— Christine Wong (@Chrissstinewong) August 25, 2019
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.
The management allegedly barred some people wearing black (but not white or red) from entering the premise earlier in the afternoon and is suspected to have called the police in the first place. Some angry residents will definitely go find the management today.
— Katherine Li (@Katherineli1997) August 25, 2019
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.
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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