Children, elderly should flee unruly protests: cops - RTHK
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Children, elderly should flee unruly protests: cops

2019-12-02 HKT 18:42
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  • Children, elderly should flee unruly protests: cops
The police have responded to concerns about children getting teargassed and an elderly woman being shoved by an officer during an approved protest march on Sunday by questioning why vulnerable members of society were present after the demonstration became unruly.

Even though the force had given permission for the afternoon march from Tsim Sha Tsui to Hung Hom, police fired tear gas at the crowd, saying officers had come under attack.

At a press briefing, senior superintendent Wong Wai-shun said officers had "no choice" but to use force against what he called "violent protesters", saying they had deviated from the approved route and threw bricks and other objects at officers from a flyover.

Wong went on to say that he didn't think children or elderly people should have even been in the crowd at that point.

"The main problem is why people bring these people in? Do they care about their children? Do they care about the elderly? I am not saying the elderly are a problem, I am not saying children are a problem. But if the situation turns violent, I don’t think a good (person) should stay there", he said.

Meanwhile, the police also defended an officer who was caught on camera shoving an elderly woman onto the ground near East Tsim Sha Tsui MTR Station.

She was on her knees – apparently begging for officers to stop using pepper spray to disperse a crowd – when she was pushed over.

Senior superintendent Kong Wing-cheung said the woman was obstructing his colleagues.

"They had body contact before she fell to the ground. This was an unintended result which we didn’t want to see. If people stand in front of us, trying to block our way during our dispersal operation, we have to give them a warning to leave and if they ignore our warning, we might have to take necessary action to push them away", Kong said.

He added that the woman can file a complaint if she is not happy about what happened.

The police said they arrested a total of 58 people, aged between 14 to 36, during various protests over the weekend.