Against Forgetting
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Against Forgetting

The Taxi Driver’s Case

This case is about a taxi driver who ran his taxi into a group of protesters, then was beat up by the angry crowd. He is not in the courtroom at all.

On the afternoon of October 6, 2019, a group of protesters set up roadblocks at an intersection in Sham Shui Po for a demonstration. A taxi was caught in the middle of it, and the driver was irritated. He lost control when the crowd threw stuff at the vehicle, forcing him to go backward and out of the way. He drove his taxi onto the pavement and hit a few people, two persons were trapped and seriously injured. He was pulled from his vehicle and beat up by the upset crowd.

When the police showed up, he was found with a bloody face and several other injuries. His taxi car was damaged as well. The police made some arrests and the injured were taken to the hospital, including the taxi driver. Some news media only reported the incident as the protesters losing control and got violent, they beat up innocent people like the taxi driver. They ultimately left out the part when the taxi driver plowed unto the crowd earlier.

Cheng Kwok-Chuen, the driver, was in the hospital for five days and required seven stitches. A few people from different pro-Beijing groups visited Cheng, and a report of donations would be made to help Cheng to recover. Meanwhile, the police didn’t arrest Cheng, nor make any charge against him. Cheng did claim that he lost $20,000 in cash and a watch worth approximately HK$140,000 during the altercation.

The general public was outraged, and eventually, Ted Hui, then a Lawmaker made a private prosecution against Cheng. However, the Secretary for Justice intervened and denied the case to go any further. The driver remains a free man since his release from the hospital, and some pro-Beijing supporters and media deemed him to be a hero. He was promised a donation of over half a million, but no one was willing to confirm that.

The police only made two arrests in this case, it was classified as “rioting, wounding, criminal damage, theft, and traffic accident causing injury.” The male suspect, Cheung Tsz-lung, 35, pleaded guilty to rioting and violating the anti-mask law. He was sentenced to three years in jail. The female suspect, Chung Wing-yee, was also charged but indicated she would plead not guilty earlier. The court was told she passed away just before the hearing. This sure caused some speculation considering the timing. Both the police and the family didn’t want to elaborate further, but only to escalate curiosity and conspiracy theory. Her family released a short statement saying that she was avoiding confrontation and climbed out of the window at home. Accidentally, she fell to her death.

Just a sad ending to a theatrical saga. Ironically, the judge mentioned Cheung was “emotions overrode rationality”, which would be the same thing for the taxi driver Cheng as well. One thing leads to another, they should be all related. When you leave a big part of the story out of the picture, is that fair?

Talking about legal justice these days sure leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

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“The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting” ― Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting

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Duncan Lau

Duncan Lau

身處香港,隨心而寫,時事,文化,個人抒發,不吐不快。From Hong Kong, random thoughts, current issues, personal matters, whatever ticks! Twitter: @duncan_2