A female police officer who found herself at the center of a media frenzy over her good looks last year spoke out against what she characterized as a culture of sexual harassment within the Hong Kong Police Force in a series of Instagram stories on Tuesday night.
In the Instagram posts, the officer — who goes by Katy, but was dubbed the “Sai Wan White Top Cop” after images circulated of her in a fitted shirt at a protest in August — lambasted lewd rumors she said were spread about her by fellow officers on WhatsApp, Apple Daily reports.
“I came to work to make a living, not to be the butt of your jokes and gossip,” she wrote in one of her posts. “Everything that has been said about me is so hard to hear that it’s worse than profanity.”
“Colleagues have created false rumors about me and slandered me… claiming that I had sexual relations with colleagues… affecting my work and causing people to give me weird looks, and causing damage to my mental health and reputation,” she continued.
“Don’t tell me that this is all part of police work culture and that I should get used to it. When you outright sexually harass female colleagues, how can you ask for citizens and other people in the public to trust you?… You must pay for what you have done.”
She then went on to cite the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, which criminalizes not only discrimination on the basis of sex, but also sexual harassment.
Katy is a plainclothes officer who first came to the public’s attention during a police operation in Sai Wan on Aug. 8 last year after screengrabs from a media livestream showing her in a tight white top quickly went viral online.
She gained thousands of Instagram followers, but more photos of her quickly found their way into the media, including ones of her in swimsuits. She has since made her account private.
During an interview with Speakout, Katy said that even her friends and family were among those who took part in disseminating her personal Instagram photos.
Responding to the allegations against the force in a statement to Coconuts HK, a police representative said the force “attaches great importance to the conduct of personnel,” and was investigating the matter.
“The police will not tolerate personnel who commit illegal acts,” the statement continued. “They will be dealt with seriously and investigations on their conduct and disciplinary reviews will take place.”
The force also noted that it had received 13 complaints about sexual harassment within its ranks from November of 2018 to November of 2019, two of which resulted in disciplinary or criminal prosecutions.
For more Hong Kong coverage, check out Coconuts HK.