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Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022

Cop worried about personal safety shot student protester in Sai Wan Ho, court told

A cop who shot a 21-year-old student protester in Sai Wan Ho at the height of social unrest told District Court he was worried about his personal safety at that time.
The shot student Chow Pak-kwan, 21, and another protester Woo Tsz-kin, 20, were charged with obstructing police officer and attempting to snatch the officer's gun at a junction between Shau Kei Wan Road and Tai On Street in Sai Wan Ho on November 11, 2019. Chow was also charged with attempted escape.

In District Court on Wednesday, the cop who fired the shot, referred as A in court, testified that he was patrolling the area with other officers. He and a superintendent, identified as B in court, got off the police vehicle after they saw traffic congestion.

A proceeded to the junction between Shau Kei Wan Road and Tai On Street and found the road was blocked there. Apart from citizens who were heading to work, there were also black-clad protesters carrying stick-like objects on the streets.

A then heard someone yelled “dog” and “black cops,” which made him feel unsafe. He saw two protesters were tying a rope to a traffic light post in order to block the road, and he started going after them. Yet when the duo ran into the crowds, A stopped chasing them for he considered the situation to be unsafe.

When A turned around, he found himself to be alone as officer B left. Then he heard a male voice saying: “Don't let him go.”

A said he found himself to be in danger, and he got a hold of his gun when he saw around 10 protesters were approaching him.

As a man dressed in white jacket and around three protesters walked towards him, A thought about previous incidents of police assaults when officers got injured even they had batons with them.

He believed he would fail to defend himself with a baton or with pepper spray. Instead, he pulled out his gun and pointed it at the white-clad man.

A said he yelled “Go away!” but the white-clad man kept approaching him. He held the white-clad man with one arm, who resisted, and then saw Chow approaching him.

A added Chow “was stretching his arm to snatch my gun” and decided to fire a shot at Chow's abdomen, feeling his life was endangered.

A said he further fired two shots to disperse the crowd without hitting anyone, and he officially arrested Chow after the disruption.

A video showing how the cop shot Chow was played in court by the prosecution. Chow avoided watching the video, while some among the audience reacted emotionally and left the courtroom as reminded by district judge Adriana Noelle Tse Ching.
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