Reflections on recent events, plus the occasional fact
free rant unfiltered by rational argument.
On the morning of November 7th, a woman police officer attached to the Police Tactical Unit faced a 55-year-old man brandishing a knife on a busy MTR concourse. The male, surnamed Chow, was stopped for questioning. He pulled the knife from his bag and lunged at the officer. She issued a warning to drop the knife. Her colleague also issued a warning. Both warnings went ignored. Chow continued to advance on the officer waving his knife. The officer then opened fire with a single shot. Chow collapsed with a gunshot wound.
This sequence of events comes from media reports. I’m told that CCTV coverage of the incident affirms the story. If true, this is a textbook example of how officers should respond. Legally and morally the officer is justified in her actions.
I carried a gun on duty for 34 years. Had a culprit done this to me I'd have no hesitation opening fire. I owe that to my family, the public and my colleagues.
Chow remains in hospital. And surprise surprise, media reports say he has a criminal conviction for assaulting police officers. Thus his attack would appear to be part of a pattern of behaviour.
None of this stopped a legion of Monday morning quarterbacks, armchair warriors and self-serving politicians from heaping bile on the WPC and the Police Force. It’s as if they’d rather see an officer dead or injured than the commendable outcome of this case.
To his great credit, the Commissioner of Police has come out in complete support of the officer. And so he should. Other senior officers have, likewise, shown unwavering backing to this brave young lady.
Leading the charge of criticism is a legislator, James To Kun-san, a so-called democrat. Listening to Mr To you’d think he was an expert in unarmed combat, firearms and the use of force. Except he’s not. He’s a pudgy, stumbling figure and an opportunist grandstanding little-man. He is also a lawyer, yet he appears to have no respect for evidence nor due process.
A chorus of unjustified and fabricated denunciations came out about this incident. It’s disgusting to watch that those leading this are members of the legal fraternity. You’d think they’d have the common decency to await the official enquiry. At least take heed of the compelling evidence already available. Unfortunately, our so-called democrat politicians lost their collective decency some time ago. The only truth for them is their distorted opinions.
It's evident that Mr To desires to politicise the incident. Ever since the failed Occupy movement, he and his cohort have taken every opportunity to badmouth Hong Kong, and it’s Police Force.
Mr To fronted Chow’s family in a press conference. The family appeared with their faces hidden behind masks. Why? One can only speculate. They went on say it was normal for their renovation worker father to be carrying a knife. Well, yes I’m sure it was. But it’s not normal when stopped by the police to pull that knife out and threaten the officers.
The armchair critics are having a field day suggesting that the officer should have used a baton or pepper spray. These assertions are nonsense. Officers have seconds to react or face possible death. A generation brought up on video games and movies has no concept of how to tackle real violence. Many of their comments and observations reveal a profound ignorance. Take a look at these clips; the reality of knife attacks and knife vs handgun.
Likewise, it is suggested officers carry Tasers. Again, the lack of knowledge and understanding is breathtaking. Tasers don’t always work, and indeed, when someone is wearing a heavy jacket, the Taser can prove useless.
As regards the suggestion the WPC was reckless to open fire on a crowded MTR concourse. That view ignores her training, the assessment she made and the fact that she executed the shot with precision.
The scenario that unfolded on November 7 appears very like an incident that occurred in July 2005. It would be useful to remind Mr To what happened on that occasion. On that day, Constable Chu Chun-kwok, stopped a 30-year-old man acting suspiciously in the street. The man suddenly produced a small fruit knife and slashed the officer’s throat. Constable Chu chased the man for about 20 metres with blood spraying from his wound before collapsing. Later the culprit was arrested. He claimed he’d panicked.
Constable Chu remains bedridden to this day. Is that the outcome Mr To and Democrats would have preferred for this officer? Instead, she went home safe to her family. Meanwhile, a convicted criminal with a track record of attacking officers remains in hospital. That for me is a fair outcome.
If the version of events portrayed so far proves true, then the officer deserves our praise. Any reasonable person viewing the facts would concur. Of course, many see matters through their distorted prism and are unlikely to change course.
Mr To claims himself a Christian. It’s not Christian to condemn someone for seeking to protect the sanctity of life. If I were a believer, I’d assert a fiery afterlife awaits Mr To. Meanwhile, he's judged for his deceit in this life. Also, Mr To is not worthy of the protection that Hong Kong police officers provide him.
Lastly, a misquote from a movie. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain matters to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very protection that this officer provides, and then questions the manner in which its provided! I would rather you said "thank you" and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest Mr To you pick up a weapon and stand a post.
Walter De Havilland is one of the last of the colonial coppers. He served 35 years in the Hong Kong Police.