Police have rejected allegations that a group of officers kicked an arrested man after taking him in to an alleyway in Yuen Long on Saturday, saying they were not sure if footage of the alleged event even showed what was being kicked – a man or some object.

A video of the incident has been circulating online showing the apparent abuse, but at a media briefing on Monday the police doubted its authenticity.

Acting Senior Superintendent of New Territories North, Vasco Williams, said the footage isn’t clear enough and didn’t clearly show whether a “yellow object” allegedly kicked by officers was a man, a bag, or a vest.

“The reason I said it was an object is because the video is very unfocused. When I first looked at it, I couldn’t identify what that was,” he told the media.

Williams said he cannot be sure whether the footage has been doctored as when he saw other footage it showed no assaults taking place.

He urged the person who took the video in question to come forward to assist their investigation.

“Now, knowing you’ve been videoed, do you think any police officer would be that stupid to assault someone under detention? I don’t think so,” said Williams.

“But of course we will investigate this. Anybody saying that they know the maker of this video, please ask them to come forward. We are more than interested in investigating this because this tarnishes the image of the Hong Kong police,” he said.

Later, he did confirm that a man, wearing a yellow shirt, was brought to the back alley and searched after he allegedly assaulted some officers.

The arrested man is believed to be a member of Protect Our Kids Campaign, a religious group who have been on the front lines of various protest sites, hoping to act as a buffer between police and protesters.

The group has confirmed that one of its members was arrested on Fung Yau Street North in Yuen Long on Saturday and charged with assaulting a police officer.

“According to the footage and the report from our members, we have strong reasons to believe that these injuries are caused by police abuses of power”, the group said in a statement as it awaits their member to be released from police custody.

The police also warned anti-government protesters against trying to snatch firearms carried by officers. They said protesters should be prepared to “bear consequences” when officers responded with an appropriate level of force.

At the briefing, police also displayed modified umbrellas, which could be used as a weapon, that they said were taken from some arrested protesters

A total of 80 people were arrested during the weekend protests in various districts, bringing the total number of arrests to 1,556 since the unrest broke out in June.