Date
17 December 2017
Scuffles broke out between police and protesters in Mong Kok late Wednesday night. Photo: Social Record
Scuffles broke out between police and protesters in Mong Kok late Wednesday night. Photo: Social Record

Flashlight aimed at cops triggers Mong Kok scuffles

Scuffles broke out at the Occupy protest site in Mong Kok late Wednesday night after a man described by police as an “aggressive protester” provoked officers with the flashlight on his smartphone.

Police tried to arrest him, but several other protesters rushed over to stop them, sparking multiple rounds of confrontation, Ming Pao Daily reported Friday.

Eventually, police issued warnings and used pepper spray to disperse the crowd.

Police said they arrested four people.

Chan Shu-fai, convenor of the police powers monitoring group of the Civil Human Rights Front, said he contacted the four people who were arrested and found that two of them were injured.

Two other people who were not arrested were also injured, Chan said. One of them suffered a serious injury to his left leg and couldn’t walk.

Chan said the police not only abused their rights, but were violent in dealing with the protesters.

He said the police had also failed to explain to the protesters why they were going to use pepper spray, thus angering the crowd.

Chief Superintendent Steve Hui of the Police Public Relations Branch said in a press briefing on Thursday that the police severely condemned protesters who provoked on-site officers by directing a flashlight from their smartphones at them, hampering them in carrying out their duties.

However, an Apple Daily report on Friday suggested that police were the first to use flashlights against protesters.

During their attempts to clear Lung Wo Road on Oct. 15, some officers also aimed powerful flashlights at reporters and the video cameras of television cameramen, hampering the journalists’ work, the report said.

Meanwhile, a 23-year-old female protester complained that police dragged her out from her tent in Mong Kok and beat her with a baton, resulting in injuries to her head.

At first, she refused to go to the hospital, but she was eventually admitted after she developed symptoms of shivering and vomiting four hours after the incident.

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