Shot officer speaks up

Local | Charlotte Luo 2 Dec 2019

A media liaison officer who had been shot with an arrow during the clash at Polytechnic University last month has said the wound is healing but has left him facing difficulty walking.

In an interview with Sing Tao Daily, the sister paper of The Standard, the officer, who agreed to be identified as Sam, said he was advised to rest for six to eight weeks.

Sam was shot with an arrow in his lower left leg during the siege of PolyU on November 17, with the arrow being removed during surgery.

Recalling the time he was injured, Sam said he still has lingering fears.

He recalled that riot police were deployed to the intersection of Chatham Road South and Austin Avenue around 2 pm, with some journalists standing between police officers and protesters.

As protesters threw petrol bombs and bricks, he requested the journalists to move to a safe place, but suddenly felt a sharp pain in his left leg.

Sam initially thought he was hit by a stone, but when he removed his gas mask to look down, he saw an arrow, with its metal head deep into his leg.

His colleague immediately called an ambulance.

He thanked Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and his superiors, among others, for visiting him. Sam said he is also grateful to people who wrote him letters.

"A simple sentence of support can already give me the motivation to move on," he said.

Sam added the danger of public activities has risen greatly, and with the large number of journalists at the scene, the difficulties of his job have increased.

His personal details were dug up on the same day he was wounded, with Sam saying he was worried about his family's safety, but police intercepted the spread of the information in time.

His family worried about his safety too but he said: "This is the duty of police officers."

Superintendent Bon Ko Chun-pong of the police public relations branch said five media liaison officers, including Sam and himself, had been attacked by protesters so far.

Ko said he was hit on the right side of his chest by a brick outside Tsim Sha Tsui police station, causing difficulty in breathing.

Doctor said it would take a few weeks to recover, but he returned to work the following day.

He also said journalists kept stepping in the "firing line" to film and refused to listen to officers.

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