, 12 tweets, 6 min read Read on Twitter
I grew up in South London in the Thatcher years. There was a lot of hostility towards the police. When I moved to #HongKong in the early 90s, I was struck by the genial relations between people and the police. They were generally liked and respected 1/
#HongKong people were proud that their police force was not like the Public Security Bureau of China. There were always bad eggs but generally, the force was considered clean and professional. People trusted them 2/
I covered and attended many protests over the years. In the past they were almost always peaceful and there was little aggro from the police. This began to change in the CYLeung years as Beijing tightened the screws and society became more polarised 3/
And really took a turn for the worse just before and during the #UmbrellaMovement. I recently watched @LianainFilms Umbrella Diaries and it reminded me how people really tried to engage and reason with the police at the beginning "you're HK citizens too..." 4/
@LianainFilms But things quickly deteriorated after the teargas was fired on 9.28, inappropriate use of force and incidents such as Ken Tsang's beating in the "dark corner" and Frankly Chu's baton attack on a Mong Kok shopper. Police began to adopt a siege mentality 5/
@LianainFilms But even with these incidents of brutality, some people still felt that overall, the police were caught between a rock and a hard place, bearing the brunt for popular anger over what were political decisions. But there were worrying signs of a hardening culture 6/
@LianainFilms Manifested in a mass rally attended by 33,000 former and serving officers in support for the cops who'd been convicted for assaulting Ken Tsang. They swore in unison, criticised the judge in the case and compared themselves to persecuted Jews in WWII 7/ scmp.com/news/hong-kong…
@LianainFilms Now #HongKongers and people around the world have been stunned at the level of violence the police have used against #extraditionbill protesters. Pepper spray, tear gas, batons, beanbag rounds, rubber bullets, smoke bombs inside the #LegCo bldg, harassment of journalists 8/
@LianainFilms The feeling in #HongKong is that the police have "gone crazy", are "out of control". At this point I'd like to point out that the man who led the police during #OccupyHK, Andy Tsang Wai-hung to head a UN agency to fight drug-crime. 9/
@LianainFilms Here he is in 2014 congratulating police for firing 87 rounds of teargas at unarmed protesters
@LianainFilms One last thing, a young man told me he was joining the police force in 2014. He'd thought about it long and hard, he said he'd be a good cop and that his presence in the force would mean one less cop who beats people. I hope he can remain good to his word. ENDS
@LianainFilms Just to say, I'm completely aware of how corrupt the police in #HongKong used to be. I grew up hearing stories about Lui Lok & when I started out as a reporter, I had colleagues who still told tales about chasing Godber. I was just trying to provide more recent context.
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