#THREAD: Why run at protests?

A Hong Kong court today found 7 people not guilty of rioting in relation to an Aug. 31, 2019 protest.

One of the issues is whether the court can use the fact that the defendant ran - i.e. "flight and concealment" - as evidence against him. (1/7)
District Judge Sham Siu-man said prosecutors must prove the defendant's sole purpose was "fleeing out of consciousness of guilt," in order to use that fact against him.

[N.B. 1st image is the original Chinese judgment, 2nd is an English summary from the judiciary] (2/7)
Notably, the judge accepted the argument that people might fear police after watching footage of police brutality, and there is a "real possibility" those people might run the next time they see the cops.

That kind of running could NOT be used as evidence against them. (3/7)
Here's the twist: the same judge said something rather different in 2017, in his guilty verdict for 3 people charged with rioting over the Mongkok Fishball unrest.

D3, surnamed Sit, said he was an onlooker and he started running because he saw other people run. (4/7)
But the judge basically said, if you don't want to be mistaken for a protester, DON'T RUN. Just stay still on the pavement or step aside.

The original judgment is in Chinese only; I have taken the liberty of making an unofficial translation. Both are attached. (5/7)
It is worth noting there are factual differences between the 2017 Fishball case and the 2019 Wanchai case. Also, D3 in the 2017 case was not solely convicted on the grounds that he ran.

Nevertheless, we have an example of changing judicial attitudes. (6/7)
TL;DR - In 2020, even Hong Kong judges have to accept that there are "innocent reasons" for people to run at the scene of a protest. (7/7)

2020 judgment [DCCC12/2020]: https://legalref.judiciary.hk/doc/judg/word/vetted/other/ch/2020/DCCC000012_2020.docx
2017 judgment [DCCC710/2016]: https://legalref.judiciary.hk/doc/judg/word/vetted/other/ch/2016/DCCC000710A_2016.doc
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