The Police Commissioner, Stephen Lo, said that an investigation will be conducted to find out if it was appropriate for one of the officers to fire two warning shots into the air during the riots in Mong Kok overnight.
He was briefing the media about the events that started with an attempt to evacuate unlicensed food sellers which turned into pitched battles and activists who backed food sellers. The battle raged on till the early hours of Tuesday.
Television footage showed an unidentified officer warning shots while he and his colleagues came under attack. The Secretary for Security, Lai Tung-kwok, said earlier that the officers had to take action to keep the peace.
Lo rejected criticisms that surfaced on the social media that the police had underestimated the situation in Mong Kok on Monday night.
He said the police had conducted thorough assessments throughout the night and had deployed sufficient manpower to handle the rowdy situation. But he said mob psychology is unpredictable.
He said police is not expecting any trouble on Tuesday night when thousands are expected to turn up to watch the fireworks display over Victoria Harbour to mark the Chinese New year. He said police will make sure there are enough personnel to watch the situation and appealed the people to obey the laws.
The police officials also displayed various weapons like glass bottles, bricks and wooden sticks that they said were used to attack them.