Trust between the people and the police is wearing thin. Many people no longer take at face value what the police say. They don’t even take with a grain of salt what the police say. Trust between the people and the police started wearing thin soon after the anti-extradition protests began. This trust is now at breaking point. If you wear and wash your best shirt too often, it will start to look old and thin. You can then say your shirt is wearing thin. But if trust is wearing thin, it means it is deteriorating. To take something at face value means to believe or accept something without making sure it is true. If you don’t take something at face value, it means you don’t believe it is true.
If you take something with a grain of salt, it means you don’t believe it is totally accurate or true. If something has reached breaking point, it means the situation has become so dangerous or out of control that you can no longer handle it. Trust between the people and the police reached breaking point after a senior police officer said the police were just kicking a yellow object even though videos showed the police were kicking a man in a yellow vest during a protest. Last week, videos taken by citizens showed police officers dressed as protesters in black clothes and facemasks inside the Sheung Shui MTR even though the station had been closed.
One police officer dressed as a protester scolded the people videoing him and even pointed a flashlight and pepper spray at them. When the video was posted on social media, the police had to admit plain-clothes police were inside the Sheung Shui MTR station. But plain clothes means ordinary clothes. Police often wear plain clothes when they pretend to be triad members to collect information. But they were wearing black clothes and facemasks at the Sheung Shui MTR. That’s why so many people believe police pretending to be protesters deliberately caused a lot of violence to turn public opinion against the protesters.
市民與警方之間的互信日趨淡薄（wearing thin）。許多人不再單憑警方所說的便信以為真（take at face value）。對於警方的說話，他們甚至不會半信半疑（take with a grain of salt）。在反逃犯條例示威展開後，人們與警方間的信任很快便開始變得稀薄（wearing thin）。這個信任現在更到了臨界點（breaking point）。若你常常穿你最好的那件恤衫、洗得太頻密，它就會開始看來破舊和變薄，那麼你就可以說你的恤衫是wearing thin。但若說信任正在wearing thin，即是指它正在損耗、消失中。To take something at face value是指對某事深信不疑，單憑表象便信以為真；若你don’t take something at face value，即是指你不相信那是真的。
若你take something with a grain of salt，即是指你對某事半信半疑、持保留態度。若某事已到達breaking point，那是指該處境已經相當嚴峻或失控，已到了極限、崩潰的邊緣。一位警司稱警員只在踢一件「黃色物體」，即使好些片段顯示警員在示威期間正在腳踢一個穿黃色背心的人，在這之後人們與警方之間的信任便已到達臨界點（breaking point）。上星期，有市民拍到影片，顯示有警員穿成示威者黑衫和戴面罩的模樣，身處上水港鐵站內，即使該站已經關閉。
一名喬裝警片段放上社交媒體之後，警方不得不承認有便裝（plain-clothes）警員在上水港鐵站內。然而，便裝（plain clothes）的意思是平常的衣服。當警員要裝扮成三合會會員套取資訊時，便會穿便衣（plain clothes）。然而，他們在上水港鐵站內穿的是黑衫和面罩，因此才有那麼多人相信，警員裝扮成示威者，是刻意製造許多的暴力事件，以令民意將矛頭轉向示威者。
Michael Chugani 褚簡寧