The Hong Kong police officer who shot a student protester in Sai Wan Ho on Monday morning was doxxed and received death threats against his children after the incident, according to the force.
The incident, in which three live rounds were fired from a service revolver, also prompted parents and former students of his daughters’ school to write to the management to ask if the officer was still suitable to head the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) given his “lack of judgment”.
They were referring to the decision of a station sergeant, surnamed Kwan, to open fire on a college student, surnamed Chow, 21, near Sai Wan Ho MTR station, where anti-government demonstrators had blocked roads as part of a citywide protest on Monday morning.
One bullet ruptured Chow’s right kidney and liver and he was sent to Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital in Chai Wan where he remains in a critical condition after undergoing surgery.
The other two rounds hit the ground.
Hong Kong Island regional commander Kwok Pak-chung was repeatedly asked at a police press conference in the afternoon whether the officer had used minimum force in the incident.
Kwok admitted Chow was unarmed but said he was trying to snatch the officer’s gun and one other person was holding what “looked like a metal stick”.
“The officer felt his life was at risk. It’s his subjective feeling and his interpretation,” Kwok said, but he did not answer why the officer could not just have held on to his gun to avoid it being snatched so as to remove “the threat to his life”.
Chief Superintendent John Tse Chun-chung of the police public relations branch said they were aware the officer had his and his family’s information leaked online unlawfully.
“There are even death threats online targeting his children. We appeal to everyone in society to stay calm and refrain from unlawful acts,” Tse said.
Information on Kwan surfaced online – so-called doxxing – shortly after the incident, including a document that showed his occupation, academic qualifications and the names of his two daughters studying at a Kowloon school, which was released when he was running for PTA chairman in October last year.
Several letter templates in both Chinese and English have been drafted by parents and former students of the renowned girls’ school, in which they slammed Kwan’s actions as an “unacceptable display of lack of judgment, coldbloodedness and rage”.
They also urged the school to strip Kwan of his duties as PTA chairman and association member.
“It is in our opinion that Mr Kwan showed no mercy and no hesitation to shoot at an [unarmed] young man … as a parent of a young girl, such absence of compassion and empathy is truly appalling and bone-chilling,” one letter said.
“We have serious doubts as to his capabilities, suitability and fit and properness to serve in the PTA … we urge the school to treat this with utmost seriousness and take such measures as appropriate, including the removal of Mr Kwan from all his duties as a member of the PTA with immediate effect.”
An alumna surnamed Ng, who graduated in 2001, said many parents were able to identify Kwan as the officer who fired live rounds in Sai Wan Ho. She said many parents she knew hoped Kwan would be removed from the PTA.
“Many parents said in group chats that it is not a matter of political views, but they feel that their daughters are not safe with a police officer heading the PTA,” Ng said.
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