Police today severely condemned violent protests, adding that they do not tolerate any violent behaviour and will use appropriate force to stop these acts.
In a statement, Police said they earlier issued a letter of objection for the public procession held in Tuen Mun yesterday. After a hearing by the Appeal Board on Public Meetings & Processions, Police issued a letter of no objection for the revised public procession.
However, some protesters deviated from the original route, while others set fire to a national flag and damaged Light Rail station properties.
They threw petrol bombs at police vehicles and officers, and attempted to snatch an officer’s revolver, seriously endangering the safety of citizens and officers at the scene. Police severely condemn the protesters’ violent acts.
From 4pm, some protesters blocked roads and set barricades in the vicinity of Tuen Mun, obstructing traffic. Some radical protesters also damaged Light Rail Town Centre Station facilities and hurled objects on to the rail tracks.
Later, radical protesters escalated their violence. During the dispersal operation, some rioters repeatedly threw petrol bombs at police officers and even attacked an officer conducting arrests with hard objects on Tuen Wui Street and attempted to snatch his revolver.
At 9.10pm, rioters again threw petrol bombs at police vehicles on Castle Peak Road in Yuen Long, endangering the lives of the officers on board. Protesters also occupied carriageways, set fires and committed violent and destructive acts that totally disregarded law and order.
Rioters continued to gather in the vicinity of Yuen Long late at night. A number of disputes, assaults and fights arose between people with different views. As a result, many people were seriously injured.
Moreover, many protesters gathered outside Mong Kok Police Station. They occupied Nathan Road in Mong Kok and set up barricades.
During the dispersal operation yesterday, Police gave repeated warnings but in vain and had to use appropriate force including tear gas and 40mm react rounds to stop the violent acts.
Police severely condemn rioters for repeatedly throwing petrol bombs at police vehicles and officers and for attempting to snatch the revolver. They will continue to take resolute enforcement action to safeguard public safety and bring all lawbreakers to justice.