Key point: The world is watching the protests in Hong Kong and Beijing knows everyone is keeping an eye on it.
Hong Kong protests turned violent as demonstrators took to the streets on Tuesday, the day marking the 70th anniversary of Communist Party rule in China.
And, for the first time since protests began early this year, a Hong Kong police officer shot and wounded a protester amid a skirmish between the demonstrators and security forces. Video of the shooting spread quickly on the internet. Thankfully, the student is stabilized.
The shot itself represented the sharpest uptick in violence since the protests began. But Monday night’s protests were also among the more violent and stood in sharp contrast to what have been, thus far, largely peaceful efforts to ensure the long-term preservation of fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong.
The police official who fired the shot claimed self-defense, saying that he thought his life was in danger. The shot was reportedly fired amid a standoff in which protesters allegedly hit security officials with metal pipes, while others are said to have swarmed, tackled, and beat up another riot officer.
In addition to that incident, many news agencies reported an overall uptick in violence, with protesters throwing gasoline bombs in subway stations, throwing rocks at windows, and damaging private property.
Regardless of the circumstances that led to the 18-year-old student protester getting shot, though not fatally, many in Hong Kong and the international community will see this as a clear-cut case of police brutality and a misuse of force.