Riot police hounded protesters in mall like a 'pack of wolves'

Local | 15 Jul 2019 5:32 pm

Pan democrats have criticized tactics used by police in Sha Tin last night, questioning why riot police rounded up protesters and moved into a private shopping mall where shoppers and families were enjoying their weekend, RTHK reports. 
The camp convener, Claudia Mo man-ching, rejected Police Commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung's explanations on operations, calling them "a pack of jokes.''
"This police tactic of surrounding the protesters in the name of dispersing them, and creating more hostile sentiments on the spot is totally unnecessary," she said.
Democratic Party legislator Lam Cheuk-ting also called on senior policemen to reconsider using such tactics. 
Lam, who was at one of the protest sites, said he had tried but failed to get an answer from police on what route protesters can take to leave. He said may exits were closed and roads were blocked. 
He said even during the 1967 riots, police operations had provided a route for protesters to leave. 
Another lawmaker who was present in Sha Tin last night, Alvin Yeung, said the police owe the public an explanation on what basis did they conclude that there was unlawful activities inside New Town Plaza that warranted riot police in full-gear to move in. 
He added that even if the police had decided that there was a major crime in the mall, they should have prevented anyone from going in and given sufficient time for unrelated people inside to leave safely.
He said the riot police were chasing people like a pack of wolves, pepper-spraying and beating them indiscriminately. 
He also questioned if police feel their operation in New Town Plaza was appropriate, then why did they decide on pull out of Legco on July 1 when protesters were trying to storm into the complex, saying it's dangerous to use usual levels of force in a confined space.

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