Doubts have been raised over an explanation given by Hong Kong police as to why they took so long to investigate a case of police violence.
Two officers were caught on camera beating a handcuffed suspect in a hospital on June 25.
A complaint was made on June 27, but no arrests were made until Tuesday, when the footage was made public by Democratic Party lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting. Three police officers were arrested shortly after.
When police were asked why they waited almost two months to look into the incident, they said they were unaware that there were security cameras in hospital wards, and so did not think of checking the hospital’s surveillance footage after receiving the original complaint.
But there are signs on the doors of wards in the hospital warning people that they are under round-the-clock video surveillance.
The man shown being hit in the video is 62-year-old Chung. He had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting police the day before. The incident was unrelated to the ongoing protests in Hong Kong. The man was drunk at the time of his arrest, and was being kept in a “disturbed patient room” at North District Hospital, in Sheung Shui.
A medical source confirmed that security cameras are installed inside such rooms in public hospitals and the lenses are usually not hidden.
“The security cameras inside disturbed patient rooms are easy to spot,” the source said, adding security footage is shown on monitors at nursing stations.
The hospital has not yet explained why staff did not intervene or enter the room during the incident, which lasted more than 20 minutes.