An undercover officer deployed pepper spray in a Sha Tin mall on Wednesday as hundreds of protesters gathered in shopping centres across Hong Kong to mock Chief Executive Carrie Lam on her 63rd birthday.
Scattered groups of people had gathered to sing protest songs and anti-government protests at the New Town Plaza in Sha Tin, as the mall broadcast warnings that groups of eight people or more are prohibited under the government’s anti-epidemic regulations.
At around 8.30pm, a maskless man in a navy blue shirt subdued a man, wrestling him to the ground as a crowd watched.
He then identified himself as an undercover officer, brandishing a canister of pepper spray to warn people to back off.
When a person came forward and thrust an opened umbrella at the man, he deployed the pepper spray, turned around and sprayed a journalist who had been filming the scene.
Uniformed officers then quickly turned up to support their colleague, setting up cordons and drawing boos from the crowd.
Police later said on their Facebook page that a 'rioter' had suddenly stormed into a store in the shopping centre and smashed up multiple electronics, screens, and other things.
They said a plainclothes officer at the scene then stopped and subdued a man, and deployed pepper spray when an umbrella was thrust at him.
There were similar protests at other malls in the territory – with many chanting vulgar slogans directed at Lam.
At the Langham Place mall, protesters showed their distain for the CE by stepping on pictures of her – photoshopped to replace her face with a skull.
A fake birthday cake was placed nearby, and people threw paper offerings for the dead at the print-outs.
Last updated: 2020-05-13 HKT 21:59
Pepper spray deployed during mall protests
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