As protests near their third month, the police force of the Special Administrative Region is bearing the brunt of ensuring law and order in the absence of the government.
These bouts of violence against the police were deemed as a given according to some, as it is a reaction of hatred and disgust towards the actions being taken by the police in order to quell the protests. Many of the protesters have accused personnel being involved of police brutality, as there are hundreds of protesters suffering from injuries inflicted by the police.
Others have also accused the police of engaging in sexual violence. Recently, there was a #MeToo event organized in Hong Kong in reaction to these bouts of sexual violence, with one particular account saying that the police had verbally harassed her and revealed her undergarments as she was being dragged. The event was attended by 30,000 people according to organizers, while the police have given a lower estimate of 11,500.
Furthermore, the UN Office of Human Rights also condemns the actions being taken by the police in quelling the protests, citing the need for further restraint and the application of the principles of necessity and proportionality. In addition, they have also urged protesters to use peaceful means in voicing their opinions and concerns.
With all of these mounting criticisms and danger being targeted towards the police, some officers have shown their disappointment and anger towards the government for not taking any actions in order to quell the protests. One police officer stated that the Chinese government is more appreciative of what the force has done in comparison to Hong Kong’s administration under Carrie Lam.
As the police grow warier in trying to contain the protests, intervention by the Chinese military could be more likely than ever. After the video of the PLA training to contain the protesters were shown in Chinese social media, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) was causing unease with their annual military movements to Hong Kong. The main cause of concern was the lack of clarity in the number of troops being sent to the Special Administrative Region, as the last two years the document had not failed in mentioning the number of troops that were moved.