Shocking video shows Hong Kong police tackle a 12-year-old girl to the ground near a pro-democracy protest.
The girl, who is only being identified as Pamela, said she was out buying art supplies with her brother on Sunday afternoon when she got caught in the protest crowds in the Mong Kok area.
“The streets were cut off by police cordons so we had to double back to meet our family … but the police suddenly ran towards us,” she told local media, adding that she “panicked”.
Footage shows two cops approaching her and telling her to stand still before she takes off away from them.
In video of the incident, a police officer can be seen tackling her to the ground, while several others work to pin her down.
Police defended the officers’ actions, saying they used “minimum force” after she “ran away in a suspicious manner,” the BBC reported.
They said they later determined that “she and other protesters at the scene were participating in a prohibited group gathering”.
“Their presence at the chaotic protest scenes also endangers their own personal safety,” police said.
“During the interaction she suddenly ran away in a suspicious manner. Officers therefore chased and subdued her with use of minimum necessary force.”
The girl’s mother, however, told local media she plans to sue and file a formal complaint against the police, The Guardian reported.
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Joshua Wong, a pro-democracy campaigner, tweeted: “While buying paint for homework a 12-year-old girl was brutally smashed to ground by #hkpolice, after she was terrified and tried to run away. In #policestate under #nationalsecuritylaw, you will face #policebrutality even though you are just going shopping.”
Nearly 300 other people were arrested on Sunday in connection with the demonstration.