Hong Kong man shot dead during 2019 protest convicted of 3 counts including trying to snatch gun from officer
A Hong Kong man who was shot and injured during the 2019 protests and unrest has been convicted of three counts, including trying to snatch an officer’s weapon.
Chow Pak-kwan, who was 21 at the time of the incident, appeared in district court on Monday. Before Judge Adriana Noelle Tse Ching, he was also found guilty of obstructing a police officer and attempting to escape from police custody.
The second defendant in the Woo Tsz-kin case, accused of attempting to snatch an officer’s weapon and obstructing a police officer, was also convicted on both counts.
They pleaded not guilty to all charges last year.
The case involved a violent protest on Nov. 11, 2019, about five months after protests began that summer against a proposed amendment to the city’s extradition bill. During a standoff between protesters and police in Sai Wan Ho, Chow was shot dead by a traffic cop.
At the end of the hearing, people in the public gallery waved at the two defendants as they responded.
The court will reconvene on October 10 for mitigation. The two defendants will meanwhile be taken into custody.
“Prepared for the worst”
Chow wrote on his Facebook page Sunday night that he was prepared for the worst.
“Tomorrow is the day of the verdict. After almost three years, the incident is finally coming to an end. I have hundreds of feelings gushing out, I don’t know what to say,” the post read.
“[I] I hope for the best but I am prepared for the worst,” he continued. “Thank you to everyone who has been supportive and caring for me during this time. I have troubled you all for so long. I hope everyone stays healthy and can do whatever they want. Add the oil!I will stay strong too.
Chow, dressed in a white shirt and black face mask, did not answer reporters’ questions as he entered the district court.
The clashes of Sai Wan Ho
On the morning of November 11, 2019, protesters gathered in several districts to block traffic and disrupt rush hour commutes in an effort to mobilize a citywide strike. Protesters clashed with police in Sai Wan Ho, where protesters had set up roadblocks. Video showed a police officer, who was overpowering a protester, shooting a man – Chow – dressed head to toe in black at point-blank range.
Another man then appeared to try and grab the officer’s gun, a clip showed, after which the officer fired two more shots.
Chow was rushed to hospital in critical condition, and local media reported that his kidney and half of his liver were removed.
The officer had previously been granted anonymity by the court and was known only as ‘Officer A’.
At the trial in May, lead attorney Lawrence Lok, representing Chow, argued that ‘Officer A’ – a traffic cop – had never been involved in operations involving the restraining of protesters before the incident , and looked “a bit freaked out”. in a clip of him opening fire, local newspaper The Witness said.
Lok said the court should determine whether the officer may have been “oversensitive” due to his lack of experience.
Around 10,250 people were arrested in connection with the 2019 protests, around 40% of whom were high school or university students.
Protests declined in 2020 amid the Covid-19 pandemic and the passing of Beijing’s national security law.
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