Dear brothers and sisters, I am Ah Kiu from the Commercial Crime Bureau who was injured in Yuen Long on the evening of October 4. During the execution of my duties, my car was trapped by roadblocks set up by protesters. I was attacked by a group of rioters and petrol bombs were thrown at me. You might have seen in the news that I managed to break away from the mob and ran towards the Yuen Long Police Station. What the cameras did not capture was that just 50 metres away, over a hundred of fellow colleagues were coming to my rescue.

Notwithstanding the horrific scene shown on television, my heart was unusually calm on the way to the hospital. Though the black-clad attackers showed only their eyes, I could see their blazing rage and thirst to kill the police officer in front of them, who they had never met before. Most of the protesters in front of me were in their late teens and early 20s. Facing them, I had no fear. Being attacked, I had no hatred.

Had I not taken part in Operation TIDERIDER, I would have continued the criminal investigation work I have always been passionate about. I was a District Crime Squad officer not too long ago, and did not get much chance to perform frontline duties, as the people I encountered the most were victims of crimes. My teammates and I buried our noses in piles of files to bring criminals to justice. With the advancement of society, the modus operandi has become much more sophisticated in recent years. Leaving no stone unturned, we solved case after case and were met with a great sense of accomplishment. Unfortunately, the public and the media often pay attention to confrontations rather than mundane detective stories. Furthermore, an emerging norm of justifying or romanticising violence has only brought more violence. I understand that the real violence does not stem from the teenagers in front of me, but those instigators hidden behind hoping to reap benefits and advance their own agenda by escalating confrontations.

The time I spent with my fellow colleagues during Operation TIDERIDER was bittersweet and unforgettable. Apart from petrol bombs and bricks, what the protesters hurled at us most of the time were actually insults. As we are all sentient beings, emotions inevitably accumulated as we worked in such environment for long hours. But working day in, day out as brothers in arms, sometimes a joke or a greeting from one another could alleviate much of the accumulated emotions and stress.

I had my wound sutured under local anaesthesia and underwent debridement in the Prince of Wales Hospital. I am deeply impressed by the team spirit and the professionalism of the healthcare staff and I am grateful for their treatment. Now I am recovering well and please do not worry about me. After I got injured, colleagues from the Welfare Office arrived at the hospital earlier than me and settled all the arrangements for admission and operation for me. My teammates, colleagues and senior officers visited me as well. Despite the physical pain, their support warmed my heart. Also, the healthcare staff took good care of me and other injured colleagues. I believe that both police officers and healthcare staff aim to serve the public professionally. In the face of turmoil, it is much harder to stay calm, rational and neutral. Although we may have different opinions at times, we should remain professional, stand fast at our posts and have mutual understanding towards one another. I hope that no one would believe in the rumours on social media, just as the Chinese proverb says, "The wise does not buy rumours."

What struck me the most in Operation TIDERIDER is the potential for the Police Force to emerge stronger amid difficult circumstances. While a few months ago, petrol bomb attack was merely a drill in the Police Tactical Unit's training programme, now we are all capable to handle petrol bomb attacks in a firm, fearless and orderly manner. The incident has also convinced me that the righteous will always be safeguarded. When the first petrol bomb exploded near my feet, I was engulfed in the flames that exploded higher than me, but they died out shortly and I sustained only first-degree burn on my hands. Due to the residual chemicals of the petrol bomb, I was required to undergo more thorough wound debridement afterwards. However, apart from having to put up my arms when taking shower, I can't possibly be luckier that the injury has not brought more severe impact to my life. I have once thought to myself that what would have happened if the bombs had been dropped inches closer. Blessed are those who deserve.

I am truly grateful to my family and fellow colleagues for the great care they have given to me. I was occupied with my work before and overlooked all those little joy and happiness in life. My admission to hospital has given me a rare opportunity to take a break from my work. With the support of my wife and greetings from different parties after my operation, I fully realise that I am not fighting alone. This experience has reinforced my determination to protect my family, colleagues and the public. I hope that the injuries on my palms, hands, forehead and back of the head will soon recover, so that I could rejoin my teammates, who have been sharing my workload in addition to their own. I also wish all those who have been injured during the course of duties a speedy recovery. Thank you once again. May all brothers and sisters be safe and sound. May peace soon finds its way to Hong Kong.

Members of OffBeat Editorial Committee:

Ms Yolanda YU SSP CR PPRB (Chairperson)
Ms Grace NG EO CSR A


Editor: Ivy Leung: 2860-6171
Reporter: Dickson Choi: 2860-6172
Photographers: Hugo Lam: 2860-6174
Lam Yu-san: 2860-6175
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Deadline for Issue 1148: November 7, 2019 (before 6 pm)
Deadline for Issue 1149: November 21, 2019 (before 6 pm)

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Published by the Police Public Relations Branch, Hong Kong Police Force