Plainclothes Police Officer Pepper-Sprays Crowd in Hong Kong Mall Scuffle With Activist

A plainclothes police officer was caught on camera pepper-spraying a group of journalists and onlookers who crowded around him as he subdued a protester in the New Town City Plaza mall in Sha Tin, Hong Kong, on May 13.

A number of demonstrators had gathered in shopping malls throughout Hong Kong on May 13 to sing protest songs, claiming that they were actually congregating to celebrate the birthday of the city’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam, according to Ming Pao and Apple Daily.

Riot police arrived to disperse the protesters at several of these locations, including Sha Tin, where police described a suspect vandalizing shops in the New Town Plaza shopping mall at around 7 in the evening. Undercover officers subdued the suspect, but onlookers gathered at the scene, causing at least one of the officers to use pepper spray to keep them away, as seen in this footage. The suspect was later taken away by the officers, who warned the assembled protesters to disperse and stop gathering to reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading. Credit: SocREC via Storyful