16th July 2019 – (Hong Kong) New York Times compiled a 6-minute video showing police brutality during the various anti-extradition street protests in Hong Kong. After speaking to specialists in crowd control, interviewed more than two dozen protestors and examining tonnes of video footage, they found that in several instances, police officers beat protesters who posed no apparent threat.
The videos show protesters being beaten by police officers, shot with riot-control ammunition, dragged on the ground and hit with tear gas during large-scale confrontations on June 12 near the headquarters of Hong Kong’s government. Their injuries included bruised ribs, broken fingers and respiratory problems.
The authorities began to use force after a small group of protesters threw bricks, bottles and umbrellas at officers and attempted to push through rings of heavily armored police.
But the protests were largely peaceful, and human rights groups have denounced the actions of the police as excessive and illegal.
Experts said the police did not seem to have a legitimate reason to beat the protesters.
The police did not respond to a request for comment. Hong Kong officials have defended the police’s actions, describing officers as well trained and saying they acted with restraint. The police initially described the protests as a riot and accused the protesters of committing “life-threatening acts.”
Even as many in Hong Kong denounce the police, others have defended their response. On Sunday, tens of thousands of people attended a rally in support of the police, with some holding signs praising the Hong Kong police as the “best in Asia.”
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