Videos circulating online of the clashes prompted many members of the public and human rights groups to criticize the police response as excessive and the arrests as capricious. They also noted that some riot police officers did not wear badges during the episode, perhaps to evade prosecution. Now, front-line officers routinely face verbal abuse and profanity at protests, an unusual phenomenon for members of a body that had long been highly respected.
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That rally prompted Mr. Lo to backtrack on calling the protest a riot, saying that anyone who demonstrated peacefully then should not worry about prosecution on rioting charges. But that was not enough to quell anger against the police force, and protests continued.
Some experts say the rift is inevitable in the former British colony where the police force has substantial paramilitary training. Britain built up the Hong Kong police in the s to help control pro-Communist riots, experts said.
After Britain handed the territory over to China in , Hong Kong was relatively peaceful for the first decade; and even a mass protest against Beijing-backed national security legislation in went smoothly. But cracks began to show during pro-democracy protests in the territory in known as the Umbrella Movement, analysts and police officers said in interviews. At the time, the use of force against protesters, including pepper spray and tear gas in the early days of the standoff, set off larger demonstrations.
Seven police officers were convicted of assault for beating a protester during the demonstrations.
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In interviews, police officers and their supporters expressed frustration that Hong Kong officials and the local news media, as they see it, underplayed the violence on the part of the protesters. Lam, the police union chairman.
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They also said that by appearing to backtrack on calling the incident a riot, Mr. We've created some handy tips to help you with your broadband and getting the most out of your experience. Say hi. The most important thing with technology in the workplace, is that it always works.
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