Hong Kong

Hong Kong Protester Falls to His Death After Police Confrontation

The protester, Chow Tsz-lok, was only 22.

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A 22-year-old Hong Kong protester fell from the third story of a parking garage Monday during a confrontation with the police. Today, after several days in a coma, he died as a result of his injuries.

The protester, Chow Tsz-lok, was a computer science student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Reports of the circumstances surrounding the death contain many discrepancies. Some witnesses claim he fell trying to get away from tear gas, while others claim there was almost no tear gas in the garage. Hong Kong officials have made contradictory statements about whether police were in the parking garage at the time of the incident, and some protesters have claimed that first responders were blocked from getting to the scene. Other reports claim it took emergency vehicles 20 minutes to get to the site of the accident.

The New York Times reports that "video from i-Cable News, a Hong Kong broadcaster, showed the police firing rounds of tear gas up into an elevated parking garage from which protesters had thrown traffic cones down." No surveillance footage captured the circumstances of Chow's death.

Meanwhile, Suzette Foo, the Hong Kong Police Force's senior superintendent of the Kowloon East region, has changed the sequence of events she initially presented. According to the Times, she "acknowledged on Friday that officers had been in the parking garage where Mr. Chow was found nearly an hour earlier than previously admitted. But it remained unclear what if any interactions he had with officers."

The local outlet rthk.hk reports that police "also admitted that the timeline of events they had originally provided was wrong, and officers had first gone into the car park at Sheung Tak Estate to tackle protesters almost two hours earlier than they previously stated." The same source notes that protesters had been in the parking garage around 11 p.m. that night before leaving shortly after, and that officers were patrolling the area for dissident stragglers shortly before Chow was found dead.

Though Foo denied that the cops played any role in blocking emergency vehicles' paths, an anonymous first responder told the Times that police did in fact block an ambulance from reaching Chow. Leung Kwok-lai, assistant chief ambulance officer of the city's Fire Services Department, told the Times that the ambulance wait time was so long because vehicles were blocked by other cars not affiliated with the police.

Chow may be the first protester killed in a police confrontation, but he wasn't the first to face brutal police tactics. Several protesters have been shot with live rounds over the last 22 weeks, and many have been hospitalized due to injuries from police-deployed tear gas. One protester permanently lost her eye after a bean bag round hit her. Bloomberg reports that Hong Kong police have "fired nearly 6,000 [tear gas] rounds in total…in areas home to as much as 88% of Hong Kong's 7.4 million residents," sometimes in enclosed spaces or in residential areas where the tear gas can seep into homes.

Students at Chow's university held vigils for him today:

The Hong Kong protests started on June 9 after Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam introduced an extradition treaty that would have allowed citizens of Hong Kong accused of crimes to be extradited to mainland China or to Taiwan. Though Hong Kong is technically part of China, it was granted semi-autonomous status in 1997 when Britain handed it over to China. The "one country, two systems" arrangement means Hongkongers are accustomed to basic democratic norms, including the ability to elect many of their representatives, the freedom to assemble, and the freedom to criticize the government in the press—freedoms Beijing does not ordinarily allow.

Hong Kong is scheduled to become fully part of China in 2047, but Lam's now-withdrawn extradition treaty instilled a sense of fear in many Hongkongers that they were being prematurely absorbed by mainland China and subjected to Beijing's illiberal one-party rule. What started as a protest over a specific bill has been turned into something much bigger: an attempt to preserve freedoms that Hongkongers hold dear and to stave off Beijing's ever-looming encroachment.

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  1. LeBron might want to stay off social media for the next few days.

    1. We wouldn’t want to jump to conclusions, with or without hoops.

      1. “Somebody might get hurt”
        -Peking James

        1. “Have we really thought this through?”
          ~Qing James.

  2. Whoops

  3. Let’s see if Richard & Linda Thompson have any questions about this incident.

    1. Ha. For a sec I thought the question might be if she had a bone through her nose. But she hasn’t got a bone through her nose, through her nose.

  4. “Meanwhile, Suzette Foo, the Hong Kong Police Force’s senior superintendent of the Kowloon East region, has changed the sequence of events she initially presented.”

    You can Foo some of the people all of the time, and you can Foo all of the people some of the time, but you can’t Foo all of the people all of the time.

    1. ALTERNATE JOKE: I pity the Foo who tries to defend the HK police.

      1. damn you.

      2. my vote is for 1.

    2. I pity the Foo.

    3. Does this make all of the protesters Foo Fighters?

  5. Give me liberty or give me death.✊????

  6. Britain pulled out of Hong Kong in 1997. I’m astounded it took China two decades to tighten the screws.

    The protesters are way out on the end of their borrowed time.

    1. They’re not really tightening the screws. The extradition stuff wasn’t really driven by China.

      Those who were adults in 1997 are just perfectly happy slowly strangling the next generation of HongKongers if it means better trade deals and money for HK short-term. They won’t be alive in 2047 and that older generation already has their escape hatch.

      That next generation – who will be alive in 2047 – is now old enough to realize what this all means, young enough for it to affect them, old enough to have a role in politics and they don’t have an escape hatch.

      This is really an intergenerational fight. And for different reasons on different issues will play out in more places in the coming years.

  7. I hope they succeed in their protest

  8. Careful, stories like this are going to make it tougher for sarcasmic, Justin Amash, and their DC PFL Reason buddies to push their “the Chinese government and their state-owned corporations are awesome and our great friends” narrative!

    1. Jeff and his buddies have made it very clear. They dont give two shits thwt china is committing abuses, including the organ harvesting of Uhgers, as long as they can freely buy cheap chinese crap in a “free” market.

      1. You know, it’s possible both to give a shit and to believe that Americans have the right to do business with China (in whatever kind of market exists). You can challenge the ethics of such a position, but there is no contradiction.
        And, as far as I can see, most supporters of the trade war care more about economic issues than the human rights abuses you speak of. So would you also say that Trump and his supporters in the trade war don’t give a shit about abuses as long as China lowers its tariffs and stops stealing IP?

        1. If they cared about economic issues they would analyze the when economic spectrum such as trade theft and IP theft. They would analyze currency manipulations. They would analyze the actual inflationary data. They dont. They don’t care about the economic issues, they care about being intellectually lazy by resorting to a simplistic all regulation is bad. The fact is that game theory is a valid application of trade theory. The simple side ignores this fact.

          As for ethics… yes there is an ethical consideration. If you buy all of your televisions from a thief because it’s cheaper, are you contributing to a free and ethical market place. Just because you ignore the actions leading to a good to market, doesn’t make the introduction of said good into a market as “free.”

          Look zeb, keep being simple as much as you want. All human interactions are complex. Denial of this is just silly. But use whatever rationalization you need to be intellectually lazy.

          1. Trade policy – tariffs.

            Immigration – wall.

            Iran – sanctions

            N Korea – talks

            Syria – oil

            Impeachment – witch hunt

            What is hard about any of that. Sounds simple to me. After all most people buy it.

      2. Jesse,

        Suggest a more global approach to reading the news. You’ll find the atrocities you claim the Chinese government are involved in is child’s play.

        Here’s one example.

        https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2019/may/17/pakistan-authorities-record-a-dozen-cases-of-honour-killing-in-a-fortnight

    2. Well, I can’t imagine why I would believe that cartoonish two-dimensional cardboard narrative when yours seems so much more appealing.

      Hey. Hey. HEY. What if… we assembled the collected two-dimensional cardboard caricatures people keep presenting and played poker with them? Then these narratives might have some utility.

      I suspect this might just describe the stawk market, though. Pity. With some beer, whiskey shots, and matches to keep score, it could’ve been fun.

  9. To start, I am sympathetic to and almost completely on the side of the protesters here. Still, there isn’t a whole lot of “there” here without more details emerging. Despite police proving a tendency to go too far, there isn’t enough shown to back up the assertion that this death is their fault.

    1. Benchmarking the world’s authorities in their handling of civil unrest… Hkg is already the nicest by a mile.

      Anyhow… Protestors going crazy.. Much crazier than the police.

      Have a look

      https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157642096319904&id=856209903&sfnsn=mo&d=n&vh=i

  10. They need brave girls like Greta Thunberg, she is a perfect example of new age protest and confidence.

    1. By now the Hong Kong police would be billing her family for the bullet.

    2. If greta really wanted to help the world she should be encouraging more people to become engineers and scientists (herself too) .. Inventing our way out of the problem is the best solution… Going back to the stone age won’t work… Coz 7.3 out of 7.4B billion will only go back to the stone age kicking and screaming.

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