Warning shot necessary: Police

August 26, 2019

Police today said it was necessary and reasonable for an officer to fire a warning shot into the air during an operation in Tsuen Wan.


Police Assistant Commissioner (Operations) Mak Chin-ho made the statement at a press conference in the afternoon.


Mr Mak said more than 100 rioters armed with offensive weapons surrounded and attacked some police officers of the Emergency Unit who arrived at Yi Pei Square, Tsuen Wan, to handle urgent cases of criminal damage last night.


“They charged at our colleagues with road signs, metal posts and long sticks repeatedly and recklessly.


“As a result, our officers sustained multiple serious injuries. Their helmets, shields and other protective gear were smashed.


“In one flashpoint, our officer fell down but rioters still charged at him brutally. It was a clear intention to take his life.


“Our officers’ lives were in great danger, one officer fired a warning shot into the air. No one was hit. Six officers held up their revolvers as a precautionary measure.


“I must emphasise the officers demonstrated great restraint. Their use of force was indeed necessary and reasonable. It was to protect any person, including our officers themselves, from death or serious bodily injury.”


While Police respect press freedom, Mr Mak said it is impossible for officers to cater to reporters’ needs in life-and-death situations.


He advised reporters to mind their safety during police operations, especially during violent clashes.

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