HK police recalls clash with rioters, calling end to violence
Published: Sep 13, 2019 06:02 PM Updated: Sep 14, 2019 12:25 PM

Photo: Li Qiaoyi/GT

Hong Kong police officer surnamed Lau on Friday recalled the night he fended off rioters on July 30, saying he did not want to hurt anyone, though he was holding a rifle.

Lau, along with another police officer, was besieged and beaten by rioters on July 30 near the Kwai Chung police station in Hong Kong, and suffered a right eye injury. 

"I don't fear the mobs. Our equipment was enough to hold them off. It was a matter of whether to use it or not. I did not fire a single shot, but it was enough to protect me and my colleague," Lau told reporters at the Hong Kong Police Headquarters in Wan Chai on Friday. 

Lau has won national acclaim as "Bald Lau Sir" for braving the mobs with his bleeding right eye and his rifle gun aimed at protesters to protect another officer and himself.  

"The warning was effective and that's why I didn't fire," Lau said. "Those radical protesters are also children. Though bean bag rounds are not lethal, they hurt. I don't want to hurt anyone, so I let them go."

Lau's right eye was severely injured, as he struggled to see the following day. 

Lau's personal information was revealed illegally online after the incident, and he said his family has received death threats and fear being attacked when going out. His two children did not go anywhere during summer vacation over security concerns. 

"My belief was never shaken. Though they shouted 'dark police' and 'police abuse,' nothing extreme happened. We are a professional police force. Since the Occupy Central in 2014, no police officers I know of have quit," Lau said.

As Friday marks the Mid-Autum Festival in China, Lau said he hopes the rioters could stop vandalizing.

"The Mid-Autumn Festival should be a time for family reunions. I hope they won't vandalize anymore, but there are still people who want to continue their violence," said Lau, who, representing the Hong Kong police, received moon cakes from mainland netizens on Thursday.  

"Their goodwill means more than the moon cakes. I think we Hong Kong police should work harder to thank them for their support. I also hope protesters see this: People from the mainland and Hong Kong are family," said Lau.

Thursday and Friday saw Hong Kong citizens gathering to sing the Chinese national anthem in public, which Lau said will help end  months of instability.

"It's a good sign to see the 'silent majority' come out," Lau said. "As soon as the silent majority  come out, the disturbance will end quickly."

Lau was invited to attend the National Day ceremony in Beijing on October 1, but he said the honor should not be his but the Hong Kong police's. 

It's not true to say Hong Kong police have abused power. Every time they [mobs] charged our defense, we had to respond," Lau said. "They provoked us and we responded. It was not police beating people."

"Hong Kong police are conducting their work with restraint under dangerous circumstances. I am very proud of that," Lau noted.