Hong Kong policeman pulls gun on protesters after being attacked with own baton
A video on social media shows a policeman drawing his gun at protesters after being attacked with his own baton at Hong Kong International airport.
The footage, posted to Twitter by Wall Street journalist Mike Bird, sees the cop detain one protester on the floor before being set upon by an angry mob.
The group steal the uniformed officer’s baton, before pushing him against the wall and battering him with it.
He struggles to find his pistol, before eventually pulling it out of a pocket and turning it on the horde.
As the men in the mob rush away, the policeman collapses to the ground and is quickly surrounded by fellow officers.
In his caption, Mr Bird wrote that he was ‘astonished’ no one had been killed on Tuesday evening.
He said: ‘Police officer had his baton taken from him and was attacked with it. Drew his pistol and aimed at protesters. Astonished nobody killed here tonight.’
The footage follows an incident in which demonstrators tied up and tried to beat up a man they suspected to be an undercover policeman.
The man was pictured with his hands bound with cable ties, lying in a fetal position on the ground surrounded by a crowd of protesters.
He was identified on Twitter as a mainland Chinese reporter for state-run tabloid newspaper Global Times, according to the editor-in-chief of the outlet.
The demonstrations, which began more than two months ago, are against a controversial extradition bill that would allow suspected criminals to be sent to mainland China to face alleged torture and unfair or politically charged trials.
Thousands of protesters gathered on Tuesday at the airport for the fifth day, after forcing the shutdown of the main terminal on Monday, leading to the cancellation of more than 200 flights.
The violent confrontations have resulted in police allegedly using rubber bullets, tear gas and pepper spray to deter protesters, with some officers allegedly suffering burns, bruises and damage to their eyes.
Pro-democracy demonstrators are demanding the city’s chief executive Carrie Lam step down and entirely scrap the currently suspended legislation.
They also call for an independent inquiry into alleged police brutality, and an amnesty for all arrested protesters.
However, Ms Lam has warned that the ongoing instability, chaos and violence from the protests will ‘push Hong Kong down a path of no return’.
In an appeal to protesters on Tuesday morning, she said: ‘Let’s set aside differences and spend one minute to look at our city and our home.
‘Could we bear to push it into an abyss where everything will perish? Violence, no matter if it’s using violence or condoning violence, will push Hong Kong down a path of no return.’
The central government in Beijing have characterised the movement as something approaching ‘terrorism’ that posed an ‘existential threat’ to local citizens.
The usage of the term ‘terrorism’ in relation to Hong Kong raised the prospect of greater violence and the possible suspension of legal rights for those detained.
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