A frontline protester who suffered serious injuries, including a dislocated shoulder and bone fractures, when he was arrested by Hong Kong police in August is considering filing an excessive force complaint.
Sang (not his real name) was arrested during a clash between police officers and anti-extradition bill protesters in Causeway Bay on August 11.
On nowTV, Sang recalled that he was running away when he was pushed quite hard by a police officer from behind and then shoved to one side by another, causing him to fall to the ground. He felt a strong pain in his left arm and knew that it was broken.
Then the police pressed on his back with great force for about 10 seconds, he said, making it hard for him to breathe. Sang emphasized that he did not resist when he was arrested.
Sang was arrested for unlawful assembly but he has not been charged.
Despite telling the police he was in excruciating pain, they did not take him to the hospital. Instead, they sent him to San Uk Lang Holding Centre on Man Kam Road, near the border with Shenzhen.
Sang was kept at the center for five hours. At 3 am the next day, he was taken to the accident and emergency room at the North District Hospital for medical treatment.
X-rays showed Sang had suffered a dislocated shoulder and four fractures in his upper left arm. He needed urgent surgery involving plates and screws.
The doctor said there was a chance that he could later suffer from avascular necrosis.
On August 11, 53 protesters were taken to San Uk Lang Holding Center, 30 of whom were later taken to hospital for medical treatment, including six suffering from bone fractures. Sang was one of them.
Sang has been discharged from the hospital but needs to take painkillers regularly and will require physiotherapy.
Sang is now discussing his case with lawyers and may lodge a civil lawsuit against the police for their alleged use of excessive force.
His lawyer, Kenneth Lam, said the police must explain to the court how – and why – they apply force during their operations, and the judge will factor that in when deciding whether or not excessive force was used.
However, Lam said it was difficult to prove criminal liability. The complainant could seek compensation from the defendant and, if successful, the police force would be ordered to pay compensation.
Lam added that some detained protesters charged with criminal offenses are afraid to take legal action against the police force, as they would be forced to divulge the details of their individual case, which could put them in jeopardy.
Meanwhile, a woman decided to lodge a complaint against police officers who allegedly hit her in a subway station on September 1, Apple Daily reported.
The complainant, surnamed Sze, said she was traveling home on the MTR to Siu Hong Station in Tuen Mun after having coffee with friends in Central.
Sze encountered 20 police officers in the MTR station randomly checking people’s ID. Curious, she stayed to observe.
When more people gathered in the station, riot police officers asked them to leave.
Sze said she had not participated in anti-extradition bill protests before, but was wearing a black T-shirt that day and was standing at the top of a staircase.
Without provocation, some officers suddenly charged the people standing on the staircase, she said, pushing them violently. They also used pepper spray against people as they ran away.
Sze was pushed by a few police officer and almost lost her balance, but managed to grab the handrail. As she knelt down on the staircase, the officers hit her head, back, arms and thighs with their batons. Blood was seen coming out from her head.
Sze said she was so scared that she did not dare resist, fearing that she would be beaten even more savagely.
When she tried to stand up, a police officer pushed her to the floor and ordered her to sit. The officers did not arrest her. They did, however, shout abuse at her as they departed.
Sze’s knee required four stitches.
After reviewing the video footage of the incident, Sze decided to lodge a complaint against the police, accusing them of using excessive force.