Pro-democracy district councillor to be charged with assaulting police officer

A newly-elected district councillor has been formally charged with assaulting a police officer over an incident in North Point in August.

Jocelyn Chau wrote on Facebook this afternoon that she has been formally charged with assaulting a police officer, that she will appear at Eastern Court on Tuesday, Jan. 14, and that she is currently out on bail.

According to section 63 of the Police Force Ordinance, “any person who assaults or resists any police officer acting in the execution of his duty” can be handed a HK$5,000 (US$642) fine.

Chau arrived at North Point police station this morning where she was accompanied by other pro-democracy district councillors from her district. She told reporters who gathered outside that police contacted her on Monday evening saying they would charge her, and that she needed to be at the police station the following day.

She told reporters that police could have charged her earlier, yet they chose to do so one day before she’s due to formally begin her term as district councillor. She said the decision to charge her today is an act of political suppression and said she would do her best to serve her constituents.

Chau’s arrest is in connection with a protest that took place in North Point on August 11, which saw some of the worst incidences of police violence against protesters, including one female first aid volunteer getting shot in the eye by a bean bag round, and also saw riot police firing tear gas inside an MTR station.

Earlier that day, an approved rally was taking place in Victoria Park, and protesters later dispersed into other parts of Hong Kong Island, including North Point, which at the time saw violent clashes between armed locals and protesters.

Chau, a community officer for the City Garden constituency, was in the area at the time and was livestreaming the protest on Facebook.

According to HK01, she was following two police officers who were heading towards the Sunbeam Theatre on King’s Road. She was then subdued by officers who told her to stop filming, and video of Chau being held down and manhandled by riot police soon went viral. Chau was released two days later.

Chau was one of a number of pro-democracy candidates to win in last months’ district council elections.

In October, she was attacked while canvassing in the area one month before the elections, and was one of a number of other pro-democracy candidates to be attacked in the run-up to the elections.

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