Kwok Ka-ki warns of dangerous outcome from police stunt

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The government has been urged to intervene in an apparent protest move by police who abandoned their posts at two public hospitals today as a row escalated between the force and medical staff over the arrest of injured extradition bill protester, RTHK reports.
Civic Party lawmaker and doctor Kwok Ka-ki said he believed police management must have given their tacit approval for officers to leave their posts at Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Yan Chai Hospital.
Kwok said the move will only increase tensions between police and hospital staff who have complained of police harassment during an operation to arrest people injured in clashes on June 12.
The legislator warned that if such behavior by police goes unchecked, the force's power will grow to the extent that it will be able to do whatever it wants, whenever it wants.
He said the government must get a grip on the situation, otherwise the stunt will set a "very dangerous precedent.''
A pharmacist at Queen Elizabeth Hospital said it was irresponsible for the police to abandon their post there and he worried the move may affect the operation of the accident and emergency department being as some patients may have been involved in crime.
"If they just, based on some events, pull out of the station without any reason, they are not so responsible,'' he said.
The force's public relations bureau had confirmed that the two police posts were not being staffed. It described this as a temporary measure and added that officers would still be patrolling in the vicinity of the two hospitals. 
Earlier, the Junior Police Officers' Association issued a statement saying if hospital workers are unhappy about how officers searched for protesters suspected of criminal behaviour during the unrest on June 12, they should ask for an end to the police presence in public hospitals.-Photo: RTHK