Thousands of current and retired policemen and women along with their families rallied on Wednesday to support seven officers, who were each jailed for two years after their conviction for assaulting an Occupy protester in 2014.
The seven officers were sentenced last Friday after their conviction on February 17 for attacking pro-democracy activist Ken Tsang Kin-chiu in October 2014 during the Occupy movement.
Organizers said some 33,000 off-duty and retired officers took part in the massive rally at the Police Sports and Recreation Club on Boundary Street in Kowloon, RTHK reported.
Some participants wore white clothes and shirts, sending a message that the seven jailed officers were innocent, as protesters shouted “Fight for Justice.”
Hong Kong police need to defend their dignity, said Joe Chan, chairman of the Junior Police Officers’ Association. Chan said they would help the seven officers appeal against their convictions.
He said there was a need to make “contempt of police” punishable by law.
An off-duty officer, who was invited to give a speech on stage, said Hong Kong police were working under high pressure as they were always scolded by people on the street, Apple Daily reported. He said the treatment of Hong Kong police was similar to the persecution of the Jews by the Nazis during the Second World War.
He said frontline policemen were always ordered to by their commanders to remain professional. “I fuck your mother” to those whoever ask frontline policemen to remain calm and professional, he said. He then said swearing in public should not be an issue because people always insult the police with these words.
His speech drew applause from the crowd.
The protesters observed 70 seconds of silence for the jailed officers during the two-hour rally.
The Hong Kong Police Force said in Facebook statement this morning that it is open to any new measures or legislation that would enhance the effectiveness of policing.