On Sunday, the clashes in the suburb of Tsuen Wan were considered some of the worst in twelve weeks of political unrest by the pro-democracy protesters that turned deeper into violence. A group of officers was trapped by the protesters armed with bricks and other weapons at the night, said the Hong Kong Police in a statement.
An officer fell to the ground under a barrage of blows and “facing threats to life”. Six of the other policemen drew their sidearms and one “fired a warning shot into the sky”, it said.
It is supposed to be the first live round fired by an officer during the crisis. During the clashes, fifteen officers were injured while dozens of protesters were arrested including a 12-year-old said the statement. They all were charged for illegal assembly and possession of weapons and assaulting police.
Promising to bring perpetrators to justice, the statement said, “Police appeal to members of the public to make a clean break with violent protestors.” The live round firing provoked the social media users who mocked a police spokesman who had praised the “valiant and restrained” actions of riot cops on Sunday.
Referring to that, a Facebook user commented, “If the police can’t control their emotion, how can they be valiant and restrained?”
Last Sunday, violence occurred at a peaceful marching across Tsuen Wan after police used tear gas against the black-clad hardcore protesters who were wearing gas masks. The protesters formed barricades and threw bricks and Molotov cocktails at lines of riot cops. Moreover, two water cannon vehicles were deployed confirmed the police whose jets hit the barricades and the protestors ran for shelter.
On Saturday, violence occurred in several other parts of the city, dismissing several days of peaceful actions including a human chain across the country. The protest triggered after Beijing supported a move of the government to pass an extradition bill to China.
Many young protesters are raising their voice against the sky-high costs of living and lack of jobs, say the future of the city of around seven million hangs in the balance with Beijing chiseling away at its unique freedoms. A few indications have been shown by them of leaving the street while the city government has also refused to give ground.
The deadlock situation has dropped Hong Kong. Beijing has tried to intimidate the protesters by publicity and using economic muscle in a strategy named “white terror” by the movement.
As many staffs of various major Hong Kong business sectors are supporting the protest, many sectors are under pressure such as airline Cathay Pacific and the city metro (MTR). Following the allegations in Chinese state media, the MTR has blocked stations near planned protests.
The image of Hong Kong, known as a prosperous and stable financial hub, is being affected by the ongoing protests and violence.