Hong Kong police shoot protester, igniting renewed fury - International | NTV

Hong Kong police shoot protester, igniting renewed fury

Monday November 11, 2019

 

A Hong Kong policeman shot a masked protester in the torso on Monday morning, igniting clashes across the city and renewed fury towards the force as crowds took to the streets to block roads and hurl insults at officers.


The shooting, which was broadcast live on Facebook, is the latest escalation in more than five months of pro-democracy protests that have engulfed the international financial hub.


Footage showed a police officer drawing a pistol in the district of Sai Wan Ho as he tried to detain a masked person at a junction that had been blocked by protesters.


Another unarmed masked individual then approached the officer and was shot, quickly falling to the ground.

Seconds later, two more live rounds were fired as the officer scuffled with another masked protester who fell on the floor. Both were detained by officers.

A pool of blood could be seen near the first man whose body initially appeared limp, although he was later filmed conscious and even trying to make a run for it.

The second man was conscious, shouting his name to reporters as he was handcuffed.


Hong Kong police said one person was struck by a bullet while hospital authorities said a 21-year-old man was admitted with a gunshot wound.


The semi-autonomous Chinese city has been upended by 24 consecutive weeks of huge and increasingly violent rallies, but Beijing has refused to give in to a movement calling for greater democratic rights and police accountability.

Monday's shooting has only added to the tinderbox atmosphere.


"I don't understand why the police has to use that kind of brutality to hurt innocent people. I think it's just out of sense, out of control," a 22-year-old IT worker, who gave her surname Chan, told AFP as she joined angry crowds in Sai Wan Ho after the shooting.


The city was already reeling from the death on Friday of a 22-year-old student who succumbed to injuries sustained from a fall in the vicinity of a police clearance operation the weekend before.

After a weekend of clashes and huge vigils, Monday's chaos began with small groups of masked protesters hitting subway stations and roads during the rush hour commute.


But as footage of the shooting went viral, the protests snowballed.


During the lunchtime break in Central, a downtown district that hosts blue-chip international conglomerates and luxury retailers, police fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters, many dressed in office attire, chanting "Murderers" and "Triads".

Many expressed anger over the shooting that morning.


"He was not carrying any weapon, what threat could he pose on the officer," a 29-year-old office worker, who gave her first name Elaine, told AFP as fellow office workers coughed and wretched from the acrid clouds.


Tear gas and rubber bullets were fired in multiple districts throughout the morning, including at two university campuses and in multiple districts across the harbour.


One video circulated by protesters on messaging channels from Kwai Fong district showed a police officer trying to drive his motorbike multiple times into protesters who had gathered on a road.