I hate it a lot when I come across corrupt cops, but what if you get stupid cops? If you have to choose, always choose the corrupt ones because the stupid ones can kill you accidentally with just an "... oops".
Earlier in the week in HK, a few police officers were trying to stop 14 cars which were racing furiously with each other in Kwun Tong at around 2am ... I guess , much like the Federal Highway after 11pm (oh, btw, don't ever drive on the extreme right lane after 11pm on Federal Highway ... its meant for mini-Protons and Peroduas trying to turn Federal Highway into an autobahn). Anyway back to the story, these police officers stopped 5 cars (3 taxis, a truck and a private car) to help create a roadblock to stop the racing cars. That is still alright, the stupid thing was that the police asked the drivers of the 5 cars to remain in their cars!!! According to The Standard, it was more like the drivers were forced to remain in their cars. Mind you, its supposed to be a roadblock and you were going to be watching and waiting for 14 cars coming at you ...
End result, 6 out of the 14 cars that were racing each other plowed into the roadblock. Surprisingly, only 5 drivers were arrested, one even managed to run away while the other 8 cars made a u-turn and zoomed away to freedom. One of the 3 taxi drivers reported that one cop told him that he was just following orders and the driver should complain with his commander.
The Police Commissioner has not reprimanded anyone or sacked anyone yet. The rule of law is that cars being used by the police or under police direction is not covered by insurance, and will have to be claimed from the police. The Police Force in HK is lucky in that none of the 5 decent members of the public died acting as roadblocks. If they did, the insurance company will surely not pay for "accidental death". The policemen will be sued for manslaughter. The Police Force will be sued for compensation and derided as callous idiots.
The case could have greater ramifications if people had died as part of the roadblock. Do you charge the drivers that were racing? Do you charge the police officers? I guess both, and I wouldn't want to be the presiding judge here as attributing blame and cause would be extremely tricky.
Naturally the public were outraged, while at the same time making deserving sarcastic comments about those police officers. Its mind numbingly stupid. Would the officers had asked their own children or parents to remain in the cars in the roadblock???
Police Commissioner Tang King-shing made a public apology following public outcry over the crackdown on illegal road racing early on Monday morning which had was said to endanger the safety of other motorists. Tang said preliminary investigation showed police had made mistakes when they planned the operation. The commissioner said police thoroughly considered the personal safety of the public before they conducted any operation. But he made an apology to those who were injured during the impromptu action against illegal racers on the Kwun Tong bypass which had resulted in pile-up and chase on the highway, leading to six people being injured including a taxi driver and two police officers. In the incident, five racers, aged between 23 and 26, were arrested for furious driving.
p/s photos: Fiona Xie