Two different photos of a hand with an injured finger went viral on Sunday night, with claims that they belonged to two police officers at the clashes between anti-extradition bill protesters and the force in Sha Tin that evening.
But police commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung confirmed on Monday that only one of the 10 policemen injured on Sunday had had a section of his finger bitten off by a protester, and it was a ring finger.
A member of the local forum LIHKG - which has been used by many anti-extradition bill protesters to exchange information - shared a link proving the false photo, which shows a hand with an injured middle finger, originated from a 2015 news piece about a fight between two men in Taiwan.
Young Post found that the link to that news piece, published by Taiwanese publication News Radio, was still active on mobile sites as of 1pm on Monday, but was no longer accessible on mobile or desktop browsers after 6pm on the same day.
In the same post on LIHKG, the author also provided screenshots showing that the old photo had been recently shared by the Salute to Hong Kong Police Facebook page, with claims that at least two policemen's fingers had been injured.
Similar news was also circulated on various platforms including Whatsapp, Weibo, and a local forum Discuss.com.hk.
Photos purporting to be of the injured police officer were posted on LIHKG and other platforms. They seemed to show him wrestling a protester, with his forefinger digging into the protester’s eye, and his ring finger in the protester’s mouth.
SCMP reports that the arrested man, To Kai-wa, 22, is facing four charges, two for wounding with intent, one for assault on a police officer, and one for failing to produce identification.
To attended a hearing this afternoon at Sha Tin Magistrates' Courts. Prosecutors allege that he first hit a constable with umbrella. When a senior superintendent came to help, the umbrella fractured the policeman's finger. To then bit off tip of the detective sergeant's right ring finger when he joined the fray. To has been granted bail.