Hong Kong Law & Crime

Shots fired during Mong Kok unrest ‘professional and reasonable’ – ex-police watchdog member

The police acted reasonably and professionally in firing two shots into the sky on Monday, said former Independent Police Complaints Council member Edwin Cheng Shing-lung after attending a radio talk show, according to RTHK.

He said that after the first shot, protesters in Mong Kok were still attacking a police officer who had passed out on the ground. There was no choice but to fire a second shot into the air.

Bloody clashes between protesters and police unfolded in the early hours of Tuesday morning over government efforts to clear food hawkers from the area.

Police pointing gun at protesters

The police officer who fired the two shots into the air pointing his gun at protesters. Photo: TVB Screenshot.

The police officer reported to his supervisor afterwards, which is professional and reasonable, Cheng said.

The Commissioner of Police Stephen Lo Wai-chung said on Tuesday that “when our lives or others’ lives are being threatened, we are allowed to use firearms.” However, he did not directly address whether the officer had violated any firearm regulations, saying further investigation was needed.

It is unknown what consequences, if any, the police officer who fired the shots may face.

mong kok fehd riot protest

Photo: Kris Cheng, HKFP.

Responding to reports of journalists being injured by police on Monday night, Cheng said that anyone can call themselves a journalist or claim sexual harassment when being restrained by the police. Wearing a journalist badge and vest will reduce misunderstandings, he said.

Shots fired during Mong Kok unrest 'professional and reasonable' - ex-police watchdog member