Hong Kong police clashed with protesters at Prince Edward MTR station on Tuesday night, with an officer using pepper spray to disperse crowds.
A man wearing protective gear was also seen wrestled to the ground by six police officers in the station, and later passed out while being detained. A paramedic on the scene said police blocked him from offering treatment to the unconscious man.
For the second night in a row, protesters gathered at the MTR station to express anger at the events of August 31, where elite officers stormed the platform and train carriages and beat people with batons.
After a peaceful rally at Tamar Park on Tuesday afternoon, some protesters went to the vicinity of the Mong Kok police station. Demonstrators shouted slogans and shone laser pointers at the station, as they temporarily blocked the southbound lane of Nathan Road.
Police fired at least one beanbag round to clear the area outside the station shortly before midnight. A man on the scene told reporters that police fired without warning and a beanbag round hit him in the leg.
At around 11pm, police chased down two protesters on the concourse of nearby Prince Edward MTR station, but were surrounded by angry crowds who said officers had mistreated the pair.
“I didn’t see [the protester] doing anything illegal, he was just standing there… he was doing nothing except that he wore a face mask,” an eyewitness told reporters. “I tried to explain to the officers, the young man didn’t do anything, why did you have to push him to the ground?”
Police reinforcements later arrived and used pepper spray and batons to disperse the crowd. The area around the Mong Kok police station was cleared at around 1am.
The unconscious arrestee was taken out of the station on a stretcher and rushed to Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei.
The Hospital Authority said on Wednesday morning that three people were hospitalised in relation to the Prince Edward incident, ranging from 21 to 43 years old. Two of them were in stable condition and the third had been discharged.
A first aider told Apple Daily that he suspected the man had a spinal or neck injury, and had difficulty breathing and moving. Police officers refused to take off the man’s handcuffs despite his condition, the first aider added.
“I asked the officers, can I take off the patient’s clothes? At first, he said no because [the clothes] were evidence,” he said.
Protests against the city’s ill-fated extradition bill have morphed into sometimes violent displays of dissent over broader issues such as democracy and alleged police brutality. Among their demands, protesters are calling for a fully independent investigation into police behaviour.
Riot police stop bus
Meanwhile, in Kowloon Bay, riot police stopped a KMB double-decker bus to check for protesters.
At around 9:30pm, officers boarded the bus and told the two dozen people on board to put their hands on their heads, before conducting ID checks and searches.
The incident came after a small group of protesters blocked a section of Lung Cheung Road in Wong Tai Sin in a spontaneous flash mob protest. Some protesters who were leaving the scene were allegedly on board.
The search took over two hours, and drew a crowd of local residents who shouted insults at police. Officers displayed a blue warning flag at around 10:30pm, telling the crowd that they were participating in an unlawful assembly and should disperse immediately.
Police arrested 32 of the bus passengers, and left the area at around 12:30am.
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