A 19-year-old student has been acquitted of rioting in Causeway Bay two years ago, after the District Court cast doubt over the testimony given by a police officer who made the arrest. Kevin Ip was arrested at a protest on August 31, 2019, with prosecutors accusing him of standing with protesters who allegedly threw petrol bombs at the police. But judge Frankie Yiu said none of the videos presented in court had shown any flames or petrol bombs being thrown prior to Ip's arrest. He noted that another officer also told the court that he did not see any flames at that point in time. The judge said there was indeed a riot taking place outside the SOGO department store at around 8pm on the night in question, with about 300 protesters blocking roads – some using laser pointers and throwing Molotov cocktails. Yiu added that Ip, who was wearing black clothes and protective gear, might have been acting suspiciously, but he had not been seen doing anything that amounted to a breach of the peace. The judge said the arresting officer's observations were not supported by any video footage, and prosecutors had failed to prove their case beyond reasonable doubt. Supporters and friends of the defendant applauded and cheered outside the courtroom after the verdict, celebrating and hugging the student. Speaking outside court, Ip said he was happy to be released and urged people to support other arrested and jailed protesters and activists, including the 47 pro-democracy politicians charged under the national security law for holding Legco primary elections last year.
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