Death of protester ruled a result of misadventure

A five-member jury ruled on Tuesday that the death of a protester who fell from the Pacific Place mall in Admiralty during the anti-government protests of 2019 was the result of misadventure.

The unanimous ruling came after a two-week inquest and six hours of deliberation.

Marco Leung, 35, plunged to his death on June 15, days after the first major protest against a now-withdrawn extradition bill.

The coroner’s court heard that he fell to the pavement just in front of a safety cushion placed by the fire department.

Instructing jurors prior to their deliberations, coroner David Ko said they could rule Leung’s death was either an accident, misadventure, or suicide.

He said that in order to rule that Leung’s death was the result of misadventure, the jurors needed to consider if he had jumped to avoid being caught and made a misjudgement, causing him to land on the pavement rather than the safety cushion.

The jury also put forward a few recommendations, including that police should take charge of operation dealing with suicide attempts to avoid confusion. The fire department was also advised to consider buying smaller safety cushions that suit Hong Kong.

Ko also said it’s the court’s wish to start inquests into cases that raise suspicion, in order to reduce speculation and let the victim’s family and friends know what had happened.

He also said the coroner’s officer was very helpful and counsels for the fire department and police force had not wasted their time.