At least one police officer has been reprimanded after suggesting he would celebrate the death of university student Chow Tsz-lok, who fell four metres in a car park last Monday while a force dispersal operation took place nearby.
Many Hongkongers took to the streets over the weekend to mark Chow’s death on Friday. Candlelight vigils were held in at least nine districts on Friday night, with some of those activities descending into chaotic confrontations between police and protesters.
As a group of riot police gathered on a footbridge in Tuen Mun, at least two of them were filmed by Cable TV taunting protesters on the ground.
“Come and take revenge on us, cockroaches! We are opening a bottle of champagne to celebrate tonight, congratulations!” one of them shouted.
Another police officer was heard repeating “cockroaches”, a common slur against protesters.
In response to media inquiries, a police spokesman said on Saturday the force was “highly concerned about inappropriate words” used by frontline officers on Friday.
“We have reprimanded the officer involved, and told him to pay attention to his speech and behaviour, and be more sensitive,” the spokesman said.
“The police force has always valued the ethics and discipline of its personnel.”
The spokesman also said that, to maintain the professional image of the force, there were strict rules in place to regulate police officers’ speech and behaviour.