Occupy protester acquitted after ‘shining flashlight’ at policemen

A police officer holds up a warning banner during the pro-democracy protests in Admiralty on Dec. 1, 2014. (Photo: Laurel Chor/Coconuts Media)

An Occupy protester was acquitted Thursday after he was arrested for obstructing police officers by shining his smartphone torchlight at them.

Lo Kin-man, 29, was arrested at Mong Kok on Nov. 5 during the pro-democracy protests, and charged on two counts of obstructing police officers on crowd control duty, reports Apple Daily reports.

A police-recorded video submitted as evidence appeared to show Lo shining a light onto the officers on two occasions, for a total duration of 70 seconds.

The video also shows verbal insults being exchanged by both parties.

A testifying police constable changed his account several times, first claiming the light was shone for  “10 to 15 minutes”, to “one to two minutes”, and finally “roughly ten seconds.

He later said he was “too nervous” and “left out [the details]” when challenged by the defence on his inconsistent testimony, reports Ming Pao.

The magistrate described the defendant’s action as “uncivilised” and “extremely provocative”, according to Apple Daily.

But in the end the court ruled that Lo’s deliberate actions caused minor inconvenience to the police, but not enough for it to be a criminal offence.

Lo told reporters he was satisfied with the verdict.

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