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An arrest in absence of protestors


Original article: FB post by Vivian Tam—沒有示威者在場的拘捕

It's 8 pm in the evening, outside of the Tsim Sha Tsui (TST) police precinct, riot police were pushing forward along Nathan Road toward the seashore.  The defense line of the protesters was far off that it's almost out of normal range of view.  Except a few who pointed laser pen at the police, no one tossed anything at the police; there were small scale road block like trash cans in the middle of the road.  As the police charged forward, the cans were knocked over resulting in piles of ashes all over the middle of the road.
 
Protesters dissipated through Granville Road, and after that, things were very calm. The riot police camped at the intersection.  There was no confrontation.  It's a Saturday evening.  TST had quite a bit of tourists.  Adults with kids were passing by, tourists with sleeveless top and shorts were strolling with enormous amount of curiosity video-graphing the police.  A female tourist from mainland China told me, "I am not afraid."  The police only requested the passersby to disperse, but since the atmosphere was calm, people just hung around.
 
Only if the situation ended then, if the police fell out, then the following would not have happened.
 
The riot squad camped at the intersection of Nathan Road and Granville Road up to 25 minutes.  Passersby, dressed in casual were on the pedestrian sideroad, began to shout out to the squad, "Go away!  You are not welcomed here."  It was verbal without any action; no one threw things around; most of the people did not have any gear wear.
 
Suddenly, two riot police dashed out from the squad; they raced so fast that one had even dropped his filter mask on the ground.  I tagged right behind them; they headed to the pedestrian sideroad.
 
The police swung their batons, then I heard "thump thump" which perceived to be noise of baton strikes.  Their captive was a female with white top, loose long black pants, white gym shoes, black pack tied at the waist with long hair.  One cop pressed at her head, the other held her at the shoulder, and in the struggling she fell onto the ground, trying to crawl away.  But one cop grabbed her leg then locked her head by leg, pressed her body by his upper body and constrained her.
 
Other police flooded in, then my view was blocked by their shields and upper bodies. I was a few meters from the arrested at the frontline amongst the press.  Many cops rushed over and persistently demanded the press to back off. Police shoved me with shield and other police bawled at me, "are you done pushing; what press are you?" I showed my press pass.  He kept silence and looked away to another direction.
 
The police pushed away the journos who were right by the female; some reporters and the police were in heated arguments.  A photography journo countered, "we stand here orderly but you demand us to back off?  The guilty turns the table."  The police yet repeating, "This is the police cordon."
 
The cordon expanded rapidly.  From the initial few who detained the female, soon the number turned to tens of police. The arrest process of the female and the police spread from G2000 store front to SaSa Cosmetics.  The shop gate was lowered.
 
The female remained silent, at times in frowns, the police locked her up with metal handcuffs.  For a while, she squatted in front of the gated store facing the gate and her back exposed to the crowd, hid her face under hands in cuffs.
 
The infuriated crowd surrounded the police and shouted out, "Gangsters, gangsters" "Release her! Release her! Release her! Release her!" "Hong Kong Police, lawkeeper is the lawbreaker" "You bring riots, trashy dogs!"
 
Someone far away used an amplifier to tell the female, "The arrested, please state your name, and family / emergency contact number; we will get you a lawyer!" She yelled her name out 3 times.
 
The police closed up from outside, but the crowd was exasperated hence the arrest party could not leave.  About 50+ police formed a human blockade, and sent the female to a police car.  The police car drove away but the 50 cops had troubles leaving the site.
 
At the end, the police came up with a strategy.  These 50+ cops walked backwards along Nathan Road, facing the press and the civilians, behind their shields.  The cops at the rear grabbed the collar of those in front and lead the way in the dark to prevent tripping.
 
The citizens pointed at and reprimanded the police, "Girls bullying!" "Only one girl but make an arrest!" "Police Suck!" "Lawmaker is Lawbreaker" "Can't I be out?" "Is it curfew already?"
 
This situation is once in a blue moon:  the gathered crowd was not many, they only rebuked the police and asked for the release; no one launched objects at the cops.  A few dressed in black from afar pointed laser light at the police station. In about 10 minutes, a gun appeared in a window of a upper floor of the precinct and fired tear gas toward Nathan Road. The majority there were tourists with a few civilians and a lot of press.  Everybody's reaction was, "why opened shots?"
 
After that, a team of riot police showed up behind the gate of the TST precinct, hoisted a banner inside the gate (if you were not right in front of the gate, the banner was impossible to be seen in the night at Nathan Road).  One could only know that tear gas was deployed by its sound.  Every once in a while, tear gas would be shot to the direction of Nathan Road, and at least 10 were fired.  The press put on the filter mask and took it off and had repeated the actions couple time.
 
About a hundred meters away, there were a handful of youngsters wearing ordinary medical masks; they were not dressed in blacks only, some were even wearing dress. Further back from them came the cry-out, "HongKongers, may we move up a little, alright?"  Those on site, in the number of tens, responded, "Sure!"  Then came a chant that I had not heard for a while, "HongKongers, Add Oil (meaning: Go For It)!”  Near midnight, riot police dashed out from the precinct and got into different directions, even chased down to TST's bar strip in the side streets, and made two more arrests.


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