Student protester shot by Hong Kong police convicted

Chow Pak-kwan was shot at point-blank range by a traffic officer outside a subway station in November 2019. PHOTO: CUPID PRODUCER

HONG KONG (AFP) - An unarmed Hong Kong man who was shot by police during democracy protests three years ago was convicted on Monday (Aug 29) of multiple charges - including trying to steal the firearm that struck him.

Chow Pak-kwan, 23, was shot at point-blank range by a traffic officer outside a subway station in November 2019 when protesters had called a citywide strike.

The shooting was captured on a live Facebook broadcast.

It showed the officer drawing his gun and pointing towards protesters blocking the road.

He briefly grappled with a protester wearing white, as Chow approached. He then fired at Chow, hitting him in the stomach.

SPH Brightcove Video
Chaos breaks out in Hong Kong on Monday as protesters fan out across the city, setting up barricades and blocking traffic. Police fired several live shots in the eastern district of Sai Wan Ho, injuring at least one person.

Chow lost his right kidney and suffered wounds in his liver and spine.

He was later charged with trying to steal the officer's firearm, obstructing police and attempting to escape custody when he momentarily freed himself and ran a few yards despite the gunshot wound.

A second student protester, Woo Tsz-kin, 22, was also charged with trying to take the officer's weapon and obstruction. The protester seen in the video in white has never been identified.

On Monday, both Woo and Chow were convicted by District Court Judge Adriana Tse after a six-month trial.

Judge Tse found it reasonable for the police officer, who was only identified as "A" under an anonymity order, to feel threatened and draw his firearm because there were people blocking the roads and verbally abusing him.

"Although both defendants were not carrying any weapon, they could still incite others at the scene and make the situation worse," Judge Tse ruled.

Chow wrote on social media on Sunday night that he had mixed feelings about the impending verdict.

"I only hope that my physical condition can support me to go through the upcoming bad situation. I am also worrying about the mental health of my family members," he wrote.

Both Chow and Woo were remanded on Monday to wait for sentencing in October.

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