‘Chaotic’ video shows Hong Kong police using batons, tear gas against protesters

The streets of Hong Kong descended into chaos Wednesday as protests against the government’s proposed extradition law continued into the fourth day.

Police commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung said officers used batons, pepper spray, beanbag rounds, rubber bullets, water hoses and tear gas against the demonstrators.

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered outside the city’s legislature — most of them peaceful — ahead of a scheduled debate about the bill, which would allow suspects to be extradited to China for the first time in Hong Kong’s history.

Protesters react after police fired tear gas during a rally against a controversial extradition law proposal outside the government headquarters in Hong Kong on June 12, 2019.

The debate was cancelled due to the protests. Protesters stayed in the area, saying they were worried the debate would start as soon as the streets were clear.

“We won’t leave till they scrap the law,” one young man wearing a black mask and gloves told Reuters.

“Carrie Lam (chief executive of Hong Kong) has underestimated us. We won’t let her get away with this.”

Later in the day, pockets of the protest charged police with umbrellas; others reportedly threw rocks at police. At least 10 people were injured in the chaos.

Violent clashes broke out in Hong Kong on June 12 as police tried to stop protesters storming the city’s parliament, while tens of thousands of people blocked key arteries in a show of strength against government plans to allow extraditions to China. (Photo by ISAAC LAWRENCE / AFP)

A protester is carried on a stretcher by paramedics during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, China on June 12, 2019.

Witnesses say police shot protesters in the face with rubber bullets.

 

An umbrella lies on the ground as tear gas is seen during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, China on June 12, 2019. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu

Police say the area has been cleared, but media reports say thousands of people are still on the surrounding roads.

In a brief televised address, Hong Kong’s leader, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, “strongly condemned” the violence and urged the city to return to normal as soon as possible.

Lam Cheuk-ting, an opposition Democratic Party lawmaker, criticized the government’s move to fast-track the “evil law.”

Cheuk-ting was pepper sprayed in the melee Wednesday.

Protesters help pro-democracy lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting, who was pepper-sprayed during a demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in Hong Kong, China on June 12, 2019.

—With files from Reuters

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