Target: Hong Kong Police Commissioner Andy Tsang Wai-hung
Goal: Don’t punish 14-year-old girl arrested for drawing chalk flowers
A 14-year-old-girl was arrested in China for drawing chalk flowers on a wall at a popular protest site. The girl was sent to a children’s home but was released on bail, and police are now demanding that she be removed from her father’s care, claiming he is seriously hearing impaired and can’t understand the case. Pro-democracy activists disagree—they believe she is being made an example of and that her arrest and possible separation from her family are politically motivated.
The girl’s arrest and the requested separation from her family don’t fit the crime. She’s only 14, not even of age to drive. Her drawing wasn’t defamatory, violent, or damaging to the wall. Children all around the world draw chalk flowers, but because she did so in an area commonly used for pro-democracy protests, police have decided that her drawing is worthy of punishment. She is clearly being used as a statement—if the police can get away with arresting a child and separating her from her family for chalk flowers, they can easily get away with any punishment for more vocal protestors.
The Hong Kong police cannot be allowed to separate this girl from her family. Her crime hurts nobody—chalk cleanup is as simple as waiting for it to rain, so it hardly seems right to call it vandalism. Separating her from her hearing-impaired father is cruel to both of them because if he cannot understand the case, as the police imply, he has no idea why his daughter is being taken away from him. The police have clearly overstepped their bounds and this girl needs to be left with her family. Ask the Hong Kong Police Department to release this girl back to her family and to not pursue separating her from her family.
Dear Commissioner Wai-hung,
The Hong Kong Police Department recently arrested a 14-year-old girl for drawing chalk flowers on Lennon Wall. Though the wall has been a rallying place for pro-democracy protestors, the girl’s actions were not destructive, violent, or harmful.
Now police want to separate the girl from her family because, they claim, her father is hearing impaired and cannot understand the case. Taking her away from him wouldn’t help him understand the case—this seems like a senseless punishment of the girl’s family calculated to make a point to protestors. If the Hong Kong Police are willing to punish a 14-year-old girl for a chalk drawing, how far will they go towards punishing more vocal protestors?
The primary function of the police is to serve the people and protect the community. Arresting a child because she drew chalk flowers isn’t serving or protecting anyone other than the interests of the police. Let this girl go back to her family and reassure the community that her arrested was not an attempt to frighten protestors.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Underbar dk via Wikimedia Commons