Hong Kong Police Defend Officer Firing Gun During Protest

Natalie Lung

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong police defended an officer’s decision to fire a shot in the sky, calling it “the best option” as hundreds of protesters charged toward a fallen officer with metal poles and other weapons.

“Our officer’s life was in great danger,” Yolanda Yu, a police senior superintendent, said at a briefing early Monday morning. “The use of force was indeed necessary and reasonable -- it was to protect any person, including the officer himself, from death or serious bodily injury.”

Police and protesters were involved in several violent clashes in the western New Territories district of Tsuen Wan that kept going late into the night. Demonstrators used “offensive weapons” including bricks, petrol bombs and metal poles, Yu said.

Six officers drew their guns before the shot was fired around 8 p.m. Sunday night, said Yu, who began her briefing with video footage of black-clad protesters attacking the police, smashing their vehicles. She also defended an officer’s kicking of a man while their gun was drawn as a “natural reflex.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Lung in Hong Kong at flung6@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Brendan Scott at bscott66@bloomberg.net, Linus Chua, Rosalind Mathieson

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