Anger against Hong Kong’s police force continues to grow over the treatment of a protester who passed out and was denied treatment after being arrested in a subway station on Tuesday night.
The man became unconscious and was eventually hospitalized after being subdued by several police officers in a subway station in Kowloon. At about 11pm, police officers were seen chasing two men dressed in black inside the Prince Edward MTR Station. The officers caught the men and subdued them on the concourse floor.
Video footage showed one man wearing a gas mask losing consciousness after being subdued by five or six police officers. He vomited before passing out, but the police officers turned the unconscious man from side to side, asked him to get up then dragged him along. Then the police officers pulled the man to the side.
Some bystanders questioned the police, saying they should not move anyone in an unconscious state.
When two first-aid volunteers arrived and showed their identifies, police insisted on checking their documents before letting them help the injured man, Apple Daily reported, quoting one of the first-aid volunteers.
Another video showed the injured man suffering from a shortness of breath. The first-aid people discovered his neck was swollen. They wanted to undo his shirt, but police only allowed them to open it slightly.
One of the first-aid volunteers asked the police to take off the man’s handcuffs, explaining that with the handcuffs on, it could worsen the man’s neck injury and make it difficult for him to breathe. But the police turned down the request.
The volunteer also found the heartbeat of the injured man was falling and he asked the police to call an ambulance as soon as possible.
As the man was subdued and unable to move, the first-man man asked the police whether it was more important to make an arrest or to save a life.
When more bystanders and protesters gathered and surrounded the officers, fearing the police would hurt the injured man, the officers held up peeper spray and warned them not to get any closer.
Riot police later deployed to the station and dispersed the crowd with batons and pepper spray.
Paramedics arrived 10 minutes later and asked the police to take off the man’s handcuffs. The injured man was later taken to a hospital on a stretcher and wearing an oxygen mask on. He regained consciousness after resuscitation.
The Hospital Authority confirmed on Wednesday morning that a 21-year-old man was sent to Kwong Wah Hospital from the Prince Edward MTR Station at 1am. He is in a stable condition.
A woman told the Ming Pao Daily that she witnessed the whole incident. She said the injured man did not commit any illegal act and only stood on the concourse.
Shortly before midnight, police fired beanbag rounds as they attempted to clear the area outside Mong Kok Police Station after an angry crowd gathered after hearing news about the injured man.
Meanwhile, police in riot gear boarded a bus in Kowloon’s Ngau Tau Kok area, checking the identities of passengers and searching bags. They suspected a number of protesters had boarded the bus after conducting a flash protest in Wong Tai Sin on Tuesday night.
A witness called to a radio program on Wednesday and said the riot police asked the driver to cover the surveillance camera on the bus. The witness said the riot police ordered young people on the bus to put their hands on their heads for more than one hour and did not allow them to put their hands down. The police said they would arrest them for allegedly obstructing police officers if they dropped their hands.
Police also called the young people “cockroaches.” A number of journalists were ordered to get off the bus and threatened with arrest on charges of obstructing a police officer if they refused.
At least 32 people, including two aged under 16, were detained and taken to the police station, Apple Daily reported.