Protests and other demonstrations in Hong Kong have been causing major troubles for the citizens that live there and the economy itself to come to a standstill. But behind all this mess that’s going on in Hong Kong, there is a legitimate reason why these violent protests are happening- The police. They are the ones who created the trouble because they became more violent to the protesters and even endangered normal citizens’ lives. These police injustices make Hong Kong citizens have more protests in response.
These protests all started back in June when the people protested an extradition bill that will allow Hong Kong individuals to be extradited to China. Since the British handover, the “one country, two systems” has been in effect since 1997. By passing this bill, it will break the barrier of this semi-independence that Hong Kong has, adding on to the flaws that the Chinese government has. Thus, people decided to protest. The protests soon turned violent when Hong Kong chief executive, Carrie Lam, hasn’t answered the protester’s requests. So the protests quickly transformed into riots. In July and August, the protesters became more violent, attacking different parts of the city. The police, who were also involved while arresting the protesters, acted somewhat brutally. Some protesters are responding to how to police treated them with overly violent force. They stormed and shut down the airport and also interrupted rush hour trains to cause inconvenience. However, Hong Kong police are the ones that darkened this city by assaulting and inciting the masses.
Hong Kong Police Are Excessively Brutal
The police abused their power while trying to arrest the protesters, as they beat up and dragged many protesters who had no weapons and also nothing to defend themselves. They gave absolutely no mercy to them. This unwarranted use of excessive force makes the police’s actions absolutely unforgivable. In addition, they shot many ammunitions and tear gas during protests to produce fear in the protesters. If the materials strike a person, they will get severely injured. There was a case in which a woman got hit in the eye by a rubber bullet, causing her to have permanent blindness. Other bullets struck people’s heads. Thankfully, they were not in life-threatening danger. The protests were mostly peaceful, but the demonstrations by the police were obviously excessive. Thus, this barbaric action from the police shows that they did horrifically in crowd control, and they abused their power to injure unarmed protesters. Secondly, it shows that the police were even more violent compared to protesters. Hong Kong police causing this bloody mayhem resulted in many more protests because protesters wanted to express and respond to how police treated them unfairly and violently. Thus, the Hong Kong police were inhumane to protesters by using violent and excessive weapons to people who demonstrate for good reasons.
Hong Kong Police Ignores Citizens’ Lives
Hong Kong police not only injured the protesters, but they have also harmed innocent citizens. Although they intended to shoot rubber bullets into the crowd of protesters, their poor trajectory of shooting injured pedestrians too. In this mayhem, a contract driver from a local broadcast station, RTHK, went into cardiac arrest once he got hit by a tear bomb. Luckily for him, there were no life-threatening issues after hospitalization. But the continuously used tear gas also caused residents nearby to have respiratory issues and skin allergies, resulting in major trouble for the people who are just trying to live in their neighborhoods.
In another recent protest, the police needed to raid the streets in order to disperse the crowd. Unfortunately, they chased the protesters into a shopping mall, affecting the shoppers who were trying to buy goods. Some pedestrians got struck by tear gas and pepper spray and required medical attention afterward. Not only that, the police were beating innocent people with batons. Surprisingly, the police didn’t receive any punishment for their reckless endangerment of citizens either. It caused many people to get even more infuriated, which will result in many more protests in the future. Thus, the Hong Kong police’s actions are violating and ignoring human rights. They should be ashamed of injuring poor and innocent people.
How To Fix This Mess?
First, Hong Kong police demonstrations have already caused the citizens in Hong Kong to lose hope in their safety. Their protection is gone with police brutality. In order to fix this situation, the police’s power must be limited so the weapons that the police were using will be lessened. Second, the police’s actions need to be evaluated after every activity, so they will have to control the crowd in a safer, more humane way. Finally, the chief executive and the entire police department needs to speak up and respond to protesters. For example, they can hold a meeting or a press conference to respond to their questions. Solve the issues together and reach a solution so there will be no protests in the first place.
This OpEd is written by U4SC Student Intern, Aaron.[Image Attribute: cloud.shepherd]