HONG KONG — Video footage of police officers in Hong Kong pinning a schoolgirl to the ground all through a protest has set off a public outcry in excess of the police’s use of force amid a widening crackdown on political dissent.
The footage demonstrates the twelve-yr-previous woman strolling in a purchasing spot in Hong Kong close to a internet site the place riot police officers have been making an attempt to quit demonstrators from gathering on Sunday. It demonstrates the woman operating as quite a few officers approached her. A couple of officers gave chase, and a single of them held her down though onlookers shouted in anger.
The footage shot by regional reporters promptly drew a flood of vital feedback on social media. On Tuesday, teachers, psychologists and social staff circulated a petition demanding an apology from the authorities and a contact for the officers concerned to be investigated. The organizers stated that the petition had gathered extra than ten,000 signatures following a couple of hrs.
The petition criticized the police’s techniques as an “indiscriminate therapy of children” who did not get element in protests. They warned that this kind of techniques could “plant seeds of hatred towards law enforcement officers amid little ones.”
The police stated that the officers had made use of “minimum important force” though chasing the woman, whom they stated “suddenly ran away in a suspicious method.”
The police stated officers issued her a ticket for violating social distancing rules place in spot to restrict the spread of the coronavirus. Her household members stated in tv interviews that they would contest any fine levied for the violations.
The woman, who has not been recognized publicly since of her age, informed the regional information media that she had felt targeted since of her age.
“I come to feel like staying youthful is a crime,” she stated.
The police have arrested extra than three,000 college students at protests that commenced in June final yr, a trend that has drawn concern from rights groups. Mrs. Lam, the city’s leader, has stated the arrests exposed how campuses have been targeted by forces hostile to the regional and central governments.