an American lawyer imprisoned again for the attack on a police officer

An American lawyer working in Hong Kong lost his appeal case on Tuesday and was taken into custody for assaulting an undercover police officer during an altercation two years ago between the law enforcement officer and bystanders. .

The facts took place in December 2019, in the last weeks of the immense and often violent pro-democracy movement which shook the financial center.

The approximately 30,000 Hong Kong police officers were then authorized to carry telescopic batons on them outside of their hours of service in order to protect themselves.

Samuel Phillip Bickett, 37, intervened to break up a fight at a subway station, his lawyers claiming he did not know it was a police officer, as the latter did not identify himself .

This legal officer at Bank of America was sentenced in July to four and a half months in prison and had spent 45 days in detention pending his appeal trial.

On Tuesday, High Court Judge Esther Toh dismissed his appeal, saying the event took place at “one of the most violent moments in Hong Kong historyin which off-duty police officers were beaten.

Police officers fulfilling their responsibilities must be protected in the performance of their dutiesEsther Toh said, sending Samuel Phillip Bickett back to prison to serve the rest of his sentence. The American claimed his innocence and announced that he would appeal.

The ruling is just the latest sign that the reputation of the judiciary for applying the law in a rational, fair and equitable manner is under threat.“, he said in a statement. “In a society where the rule of law reigns, the police do not have free rein to do what they want“.

The altercation occurred after plainclothes policeman Yu Shu-sang arrested a young man he had seen defrauding.

Bickett said he believed the officer’s use of force was illegal, noting that the officer and another man had “beaten and strangledthe suspected fraudster with a truncheon.

In the ensuing scuffle, caught on camera, the lawyer grabbed the truncheon, stepped on his chest and punched him multiple times in the face – a move his lawyers considered “reasonable strength“.

But the judge rejected that argument, saying the fact that the policeman hit the American was “completely natural and appropriate” because he was “outnumbered against a hostile crowd“.

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