22 August 2019
Police carry metal cases believed to contain anti-riot gear, according to reports. Photo: Bloomberg
Police carry metal cases believed to contain anti-riot gear, according to reports. Photo: Bloomberg

Where’s the trust? Cops caught spiriting riot gear into govt HQ

After helping lower the temperature by pulling riot police from the streets, the government was caught trying to run rings around the protesters.

On Friday, it emerged that officers secretly brought anti-riot gear into government headquarters on Thursday including massive amounts of rubber bullets, tear gas canisters, pepper spray and “bag bombs”.

The officers had asked the protesters occupying access to the building to give way, so they could bring in food and basic supplies and get some policemen who were unwell into an ambulance, Apple Daily reported.

The protesters later said it was all a ruse to smuggle the equipment into the building.

It came to light when two police cars tried to enter the building Thursday afternoon, with officers saying they were going to resupply the police detail and doing a shift rotation.

They were blocked by the protesters who later found that the vehicles were carrying barrels of rubber bullets, warning flags, shields and numerous metal cases believed to contain tear gas canisters.

There was some pushing and shoving but no violence as the vehicles got through, with the protesters shouting down the officers as liars, the report said.

Embarrassed senior police officials later admitted officers did ship the equipment but said they are for defensive purposes.

They said these will be used only if the protesters storm the building.

On Friday morning the police again sought access into the building, this time for two trucks, saying they were bringing food and water.

They were denied entry by the protesters who accused them of being untrustworthy. The protesters offered to bring the supplies in, but the officers turned back without forcing the issue.

A police spokesperson accused the protesters of ignoring the basic needs of police officers and said it was regrettable that the trucks were not allowed in.

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