The 30,000-member Hong Kong police force was long known as "Asia's finest." Then with the world watching, they tear-gassed and beat largely peaceful demonstrators and fired rubber bullets at them. Some officers appeared to hide their badges to avoid identification.

Now the force is struggling to salvage a reputation blighted by its behavior in the June 12 protests over a proposed extradition law that convulsed Hong Kong, the semi autonomous Chinese territory.

Faced with public fury over their crowd-control tactics, police retreated and watched as thousands of young demonstrators besieged their headquarters for 15 hours last week, barricading the exits,