Three police officers in Hong Kong were arrested after video appeared to show them beating a 62-year-old man in the hospital last month, the South China Morning Post reported. The surveillance footage was released by a local politician who accused the officers of "torture."
In a news conference, Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting said a man, identified only as Mr. Chung, attacked the officers while drunk on June 25. He was taken to North District Hospital, where security footage captured two uniformed officers repeatedly hitting him in the head, abdomen and genitals, as he was tied to a hospital bed.
The eight-minute video, which is condensed from 28 minutes, shows the men attacking his wrists and pushing a baton into his mouth. Another man, who was identified as a plainclothes officer, stood by idly as the others attacked Chung.
(The video below contains violence that may be disturbing for some.)
Chung's sons wore masks to the news conference out of fear of retribution. One of the sons said his father was "afraid" after the officers said they would do the same to his family if he spoke out.
"I've seen the video many times, apart from complain, we can't do nothing," he said. "Police can do anything."
The Hong Kong Police Force said a criminal investigation is underway. "Police reiterate that police officers are never allowed to use abusive force for their own sake," the agency said in a statement. "Police will follow up on the case in a fair, just and impartial manner."
Lam believes this encounter is reflective of a bigger issue in Hong Kong regarding police brutality. He wondered if it was just the "tip of the iceberg."
"These few months, so many protesters have been arrested by the police," Lam said. "Among them, how many must have been subjected to similar or even more severe abuse? Any sensible person would raise this question."
Hong Kong has been rocked by. What started out as public frustration against a extradition bill has exploded into anger and calls for greater democratic reform, the resignation of the city's chief executive, Carrie Lam, and an investigation into police brutality.