Police claim Sunday restraint was due to absence of protest violenceLocal | 19 Aug 2019 7:33 pm
Sunday’s million-strong march was proof that as long as protesters do not resort to “radical acts,” the police would not use force, the police said today, RTHK reports
They passed the blame for the violence back to the anti-extradition bill opponents after critics, including pro-democracy lawmaker Au Nok-hin, had said yesterday's peaceful mass rally showed that protesters were not the cause of violence.
They accused police of causing the violence through "launching tear gas, arresting citizens without purpose and using forces without any control.''
But at a regular briefing today, John Tse, chief superintendent of the Police Public Relations Branch, highlighted restraint by the police, although a large number had occupied several main roads, and others used slingshots to target the government headquarters, and pointed laser pointers at police.
The police also denied its risk assessment and a ban on the march yesterday was wrong.
They had only approved Civil Human Rights Front’s application for a rally at Victoria Park.
Senior superintendent, Kong Wing-cheung, insisted that police studied various factors before objecting to the march.
“We conduct these risk assessments in a fair manner, not only to protect the freedom of speech and the freedom of expression of our HK citizens,” said Kong. “We, police, have a very important role to ensure public order and public safety. That’s why we imposed some conditions for the public event.''