Out­rage in Hong Kong after shoot­ing caught on cam­era

The National - News - - NEWS WORLD - THE NA­TIONAL

The mo­ment a Hong Kong po­lice of­fi­cer shot and wounded a pro­tester yes­ter­day was streamed live on Face­book, spark­ing out­rage as the Chi­nese-ruled ter­ri­tory spi­ralled into rare day­time vi­o­lence in the 24th straight week of un­rest.

Hospi­tal of­fi­cials said the wounded demon­stra­tor had un­der­gone surgery and was in a crit­i­cal con­di­tion.

The South China Morn­ing Post re­ported that the bul­let was re­moved dur­ing surgery but that it had dam­aged the pro­tester’s liver and a kid­ney.

The video, which was shared widely on­line, showed an of­fi­cer pulling out his gun be­fore tack­ling a pro­tester around the neck.

An­other demon­stra­tor ap­proaches and the of­fi­cer aims the gun at the vic­tim, who is dressed in black and has a ban­dana around his face.

The man is shot in the chest as he ap­pears to try to push the gun away.

He falls to the ground bleed­ing be­fore be­ing ar­rested by an­other po­lice of­fi­cer.

Other videos showed a man ly­ing in a pool of blood with his eyes wide open. Po­lice also threw a woman to the ground and used pep­per spray on her after plas­tic crates were thrown at of­fi­cers.

Po­lice later fired tear gas in the same area where the pro­tester was shot.

Protests have oc­curred al­most daily, some­times with lit­tle or no no­tice, dis­rupt­ing busi­ness and pil­ing pres­sure on the gov­ern­ment.

But it was rare for tear gas to be fired dur­ing work­ing hours in the cen­tre of the city as the vi­o­lence usu­ally be­gins only after dusk.

Po­lice said they warned the demon­stra­tors to “stop their il­le­gal acts im­me­di­ately” after pro­test­ers set up barS­pain

ri­cades at sev­eral lo­ca­tions across the city. They did not com­ment im­me­di­ately on the shoot­ing, but dis­missed ru­mours cir­cu­lat­ing on­line that po­lice of­fi­cers had been or­dered to use their firearms at will as “to­tally false and ma­li­cious” and said they were com­mit­ted to uphold­ing “strict guide­lines and or­ders re­gard­ing the use of force”.

Po­lice have shot and wounded an 18-year-old pro­tester and a 14-year-old demon­stra­tor since they be­gan us­ing live rounds as warn­ing shots in Au­gust.

An­son Yip, 36, a Sai Wan Ho res­i­dent, said pro­test­ers were dump­ing rub­bish on the streets to cre­ate a road­block when po­lice showed up. He said po­lice “didn’t fight but ran and di­rectly shot”.

“[The pro­test­ers] are against the gov­ern­ment, that’s why the po­lice just shot them,” he said.

Wing, 24, one of sev­eral of­fice work­ers gath­ered at the scene after the shoot­ing, said: “When I ar­rived, the road was blocked and peo­ple were yelling at the po­lice, call­ing them mur­der­ers.”

Pro­test­ers and res­i­dents set up an im­pro­vised bar­ri­cade around the blood­stains next to a pedes­trian cross­ing after a foren­sics team left the scene.

Pro­test­ers are an­gry about what they see as po­lice bru­tal­ity and med­dling by Bei­jing that threat­ens the for­mer Bri­tish colony’s free­doms, guar­an­teed by the “one coun­try, two sys­tems” for­mula put in place when the ter­ri­tory re­turned to Chi­nese rule in 1997.

China has ac­cused western states for stir­ring up trou­ble.

Po­lice said they were also in­ves­ti­gat­ing re­ports of a man set on fire yes­ter­day in the north­east area of Ma On Shan.

Videos of the man be­ing doused with a flammable liq­uid dur­ing an ar­gu­ment and set alight cir­cu­lated on so­cial me­dia.

Reuters

A still im­age from a so­cial me­dia video shows a po­lice of­fi­cer aim­ing his gun at a pro­tester in Sai Wan Ho, Hong Kong, yes­ter­day

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