Hong Kong cop suspended after driving motorbike into group of protesters

Hong Kong cop suspended after driving motorbike into group of protesters

Hong Kong protests police officer motorcycle driving into protesters
Screengrab from a widely circulated video of a Hong Kong police officer driving a motorcycle into a group of protesters. 

HONG KONG: A police officer who was caught on video driving his motorcycle into a crowd of protesters has been suspended from frontline duty and has gone on leave, Hong Kong police said on Monday (Nov 11).

On Monday morning, a large number of protesters took to the street in Kwai Fong and one of them sprayed an unknown liquid at a police officer's face, causing temporary loss of vision, Chief Superintendent John Tse said during a police briefing.

The now-suspended officer drove over on his motorbike to help his colleague, and to try to separate the protesters and police officers. 

READ: Hong Kong at 'brink of total breakdown' with clashes at Central, universities

The officer was attacked with a hammer and reacted by driving his bike into the demonstrators.

"We understand that this is a serious matter, we place high priority on this case," said Tse, adding that the case is under investigation.

Hong Kong saw one of its worst days of violence on Monday with a police officer shooting a 21-year-old protester and a man being set on fire.

READ: US condemns latest Hong Kong violence, UK says escalation 'deeply disturbing'

READ: Timeline - Fresh violence erupts in Hong Kong on Tuesday

The violence continued on Tuesday as protesters clashed with police in university campuses and in the business district of Central.

In Central, a district that is home to many blue-chip international firms and luxury shops, thousands of office workers occupied roads for hours on Tuesday chanting: "Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong!".

Universities emerged as a new battleground with sustained clashes at major campuses for the first time.

At the Chinese University of Hong Kong, police fired multiple volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets in the afternoon at hundreds of protesters, who had built barricades afters an hours-long stand-off between the two sides.

Protesters responded with bricks and petrol bombs, while a vehicle used in a barricade was set alight.

READ: Hong Kong leader says protesters 'paralysing' the city are selfish

At City University, protesters used a three-person slingshot to fire bricks at police from a footbridge.

Masked activists also built barricades and blocked roads at Hong Kong University while at Polytechnic University, clashes broke out as police tried to arrest a female student.

During the morning rush hour, hardcore protesters blocked roads, threw objects onto rail tracks and held up subway trains, sparking yet another bout of transport chaos throughout the city.

MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

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Source: CNA/AFP/hm(hs)

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