18-year-old Hong Kong student got Criminal charges on Thursday for democracy protests hit a new level of violence this week.
Police informed the news channel the student, identified as Tsang Chi-kin, was charged with two counts of attacking a police officer as well as rioting thousands of black-clad protesters took to the streets of the semiautonomous territory Tuesday.
The month’s long pro-democracy protests, which have gripped Hong Kong, started in June in response to a now withdrawn extradition bill however have since morphed with calls for larger police accountability and an investigation toward allegations of excessive use of force.
The shooting on Tuesday occurred between the most violent days of the demonstrations. Considering the first time a protester was struck by live ammunition, the shooting has inflamed anger towards police.
Police officials defended the officer, saying his life was in imminent danger, and he fired as the teenager struck him with a metal rod. Queen Elizabeth Hospital confirmed to the news channel that Tsang’s condition was stable after surgery and that he was recovering in the intensive care unit.
If found guilty, the charge of assaulting a police officer comes with a sentence of two years in jail while the rioting charge has a jail sentence for ten years.
A total of 269 people, ranging from ages 12 to 71, had been arrested on the day, police stated. Cases started to be heard in Shantin court on Thursday.
Thousands of people, together with Tsang’s fellow students at a Hong Kong college, rallied Wednesday to demand police accountability for the shooting.