Angry fallout over shotgun sargeTop News | Jane Cheung 1 Aug 2019
A station sergeant has come under fire for pointing a Remington shotgun loaded with bean bag rounds at protesters outside a Kwai Chung police station.
His finger was on the trigger of the Remington pump-action shotgun during a standoff near Kwai Fong MTR station Tuesday night.
The gun-toting sergeant was facing off people who rallied at Kwai Chung police station in support of protesters charged with rioting following clashes in Western on Sunday.
Police yesterday defended the sergeant, saying he feared for his life after his helmet was snatched.
Shortly after 10pm on Tuesday, a middle-aged man was arguing with protesters outside Kwai Fong MTR station on Kwai Yi Road.
The man, who went to the station to bail his relative - a protester arrested in Sheung Wan Sunday - scolded the relative outside, prompting supporters to tell him off and sparking a brawl.
The man fell on the ground so officers had to rescue him.
Anti-riot police officers soon arrived and used pepper spray and batons to disperse the crowd.
Another team of officers were besieged by protesters throwing objects like umbrellas and traffic cones. Some protesters pushed the sergeant, causing him to fall and beat him with an umbrella.
The sergeant walked to a police emergency unit vehicle and took the shotgun, before returning to the bus terminal next to the MTR station.
The sergeant was seen raising it shoulder level at least four times while pointing at protesters with his finger on the trigger.
No visible or verbal warning was given.
A police spokesman yesterday said, "When two officers were returning to the station, they were surrounded and attacked by a large group of violent protesters, who also hurled objects at them."
"To protect himself from the threat of death or serious injury, the officer raised a shotgun loaded with bean-bag rounds."
He said protesters also poured a liquid onto the officers and broke a window on a police vehicle, adding that 24 officers were assaulted - with five sent to hospitals for treatment.
Journalist groups condemned police for assaulting members of the media outside station after midnight.
Officers were seen beating a photographer and threatening a reporter with a baton.
The groups will seek legal advice to hold the force accountable.