without violence or tear gas last weekend, things returned to “normal” this weekend in Hong Kong with police and protesters clashing in the street once again.ollowing a rare few days
Most sensationally, skirmishes on Sunday night in the area of Tsuen Wan saw the first warning shot of the 12-week-long protest movement fired into the sky by police with images going viral across international social media of Hong Kong police officers aiming their pistols at protesters and journalists.
Hong Kong. 25-8-2019.
— Lam Yik Fei (@LamYikFei) August 25, 2019
— Austin Ramzy (@austinramzy) August 25, 2019
— Kenji_Endo (@KenjiEndo6) August 25, 2019
The incident came after a group of about 10 officers responded to reports of vandalism perpetrated by protesters against shops in Tsuen Wan. The officers arrived with only basic riot gear and were quickly overwhelmed by a much larger group of demonstrators.
Footage from the scene shows the officers beating a quick retreat while the protesters charge at them and whack them with long poles.
After about a half a minute, however, a shot rings out and the crowd backs off as around six officers walk forward with their pistols drawn. One man holding an umbrella tries to get in between the police and protesters, only to be kicked to the curb by the lead officer.
After a bit, however, one officer fires a warning shot into the air and around six of the officers draw their pistols, causing the crowd to back off.
One man holding an umbrella tries to get between the police and protesters, only to be kicked to the curb by the lead officer.
— 香港人 (@hkerblog) August 25, 2019
Here’s a video from another angle:
— 半调女巫 (@Zabo2016) August 25, 2019
Considering this context, some have accused those who shared only the images of officers pointing their pistols of bias and failing to tell the whole story, arguing that the officers were in danger of being overrun by the aggressive demonstrators.
A Hong Kong police superintendent later described that the officer had fired the warning shot into the air because he felt his life was threatened by the protesters.
However, others have pointed toward police carelessness as being the real cause of the confrontation, noting that it appears in video that the police were forced to stop their retreat after one officer dropped his gun. Oops.
Why the 5 police get back and fire a warning shot with a revolver while they were initially retreating?
— LO Kin-hei 羅健熙 (@lokinhei) August 25, 2019