Hong Kong has been witnessing street protests since the national security law was imposed and during the largest gathering on Sunday unfolded an unfortunate incident involving a 12-year-old, who was arrested like a criminal by the police. The protests to oppose the election delay have witnessed nearly 300 arrests, but a shocking video came to the fore exposing the violent police arrest of a young girl.
Hong Kong police are facing a lot of flak over the viral video that shows multiple police officers tackling, then pinning down a 12-year-old to the ground before arresting her. The brutality of the cops towards a young girl shows how "unnecessarily jumpy [and] trigger-happy Hong Kong police have become," Claudia Mo, a pro-democracy legislator, told The Guardian.
Watch how the Hong Kong police treated this frightened girl who was only walking on a shopping street.#FreeHongKong#StandWithHongKong pic.twitter.com/8rwoRoYRqd— Nathan Law 羅冠聰 ? (@nathanlawkc) September 6, 2020
The shocking video has been watched over a million times. The girl is seen being cornered by the police just before she makes a run for it. But little did she know of the force that followed. The cops literally wrestled her, kicked and then pinned her down to the ground. One officer is seen sitting on top of the girl in an attempt to pin her down, while at least three other officers were arresting the young girl. Other officers were securing the perimeter. All that to apprehend an innocent schoolgirl.
A young girl of school age was just cornered by riot police & proceeded to run away, before being viciously wrestled to the ground, kicked & pinned down by several police officers.— Jack Hazlewood (@JackHHazlewood) September 6, 2020
I wish I could say this isn’t normal in Hong Kong today, but it is.
Vid: HKUST student reporters pic.twitter.com/LjaobRN2IB
Cops used 'minimum necessary force'
Looking at the video, it is clear that the cops didn't pay heed to the fact that they were arresting a young girl. But in a statement released by the Hong Kong Police, the officers had used "minimum necessary force" in the arrest. Clarifying further, the statement said the girl ran in a "suspicious manner" which triggered the response it did from the police.
"Police were concerned about youngsters participating in a prohibited group gathering. Their presence at the chaotic protest scenes also endangers their own personal safety," the statement read.
The girl's mother said her daughter and her 20-year-old son were out buying art supplies.When the cops cornered them, the girl got scared and ran. But both the girl and her elder brother were fined under the city's pandemic-related laws against gatherings. As a result of the police's violent arrest, the 12-year-old suffered bruises and scratches. Her mother intends to sue and file a formal complaint.
The police also said anyone can lodge a complaint against police misconduct and expect a "fair and impartial" investigation.
Hong Kong police have arrested nearly 300 people on Sunday for violation of unlawful assembly. More than 2,000 cops were deployed to disperse any protests. The cops fired pepper pellets on the protestors.