Police today found themselves under fire over reports that driver working for Hong Kong broadcaster Now TV was hospitalized after not only being shot in the head with a beanbag round, but also after allegedly being beaten in a police station stairwell in the early hours of this morning.
Now TV confirmed in a news report that their driver was believed to have been shot in the back of the head with a beanbag round while walking to his car near Mong Kok police station at about 1am this morning as riot police were carrying out a clearance operation.
The broadcaster said that the driver was subdued and taken into custody, even though he and a photographer confirmed that he worked for the broadcaster.
With his hands zip-tied, the man was taken to Mong Kok police station and held for two hours, during which time he was allegedly taken into a stairwell and beaten with batons by several police officers. Soon after, police called an ambulance to take him to Kwong Wah Hospital, where he’s currently receiving treatment for a fractured jaw and injuries to his forehead and hands.
Acting police Chief Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung, in an attempt to defend police’s detention of the driver, maintained today that the man had been taken into the police station for his own safety because petrol bombs were being thrown in the area.
Kong went on to say that the driver wasn’t “officially arrested,” despite the zip ties, and maintained that it took police more than two hours to call an ambulance because they struggled to ascertain the man’s identity.
— Alex Lam 林偉聰 (@lwcalex) October 14, 2019
Kong added that force’s Complaints Against Police Office was looking into the driver’s claim that he was beaten in a stairwell, which may or may not have been equipped with a CCTV camera.
“According to our officers, after he was accidentally shot, he fell down. So the reason for the injuries has to be confirmed. We are actively investigating this case, of course including identifying which officers had handled this injured person, as well as we have to retrieve any CCTV from the police station.”
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