Protesters in Hong Kong, who have been demonstrating for months in massive gatherings that often morph into dangerous encounters with police and the public, may soon have to worry about local police using live ammunition in an effort to dissuade the large groups from congregating.
According to The Washington Examiner, Hong Kong police might soon be trading in their non-lethal rounds for the real deal. According to Hong Kong police superintendent Louis Lau, live rounds could be used on protesters at Polytechnic University. The apparent escalation of force with which police are considering comes at the same time as accusations of police brutality that have stemmed from the months-long demonstrations.
The protesters, who originally began demonstrating in response to a now-withdrawn extradition bill that would have allowed China to extradite Hong Kong citizens to the mainland, have continued to clash with police on the streets of Hong Kong in the wake of the bill being shelved.
Because of continued reports and footage of widespread vandalism and the blockage of commerce and everyday business — including university classes — in Hong Kong, government officials have repeatedly called for a halt to the demonstrations.
Last week, a police spokesman essentially told reporters that Hong Kong's current state of affairs is disastrous.
"Our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown," the police spokesperson said.
As The Hill reported, protesters have blocked train tracks with debris and have formed large gatherings to all but completely block major intersections, some of which are in the wealthiest areas of Hong Kong. Universities around Hong Kong have been hot spots for police interactions with protesters, with protesters launching bricks and other makeshift weapons at law enforcement. Those actions have prompted several occasions of police using tear gas on protesters at City University and Chinese University.
Chief Executive of Hong Kong Carrie Lam described the ongoing situation to reporters and thanked citizens who are maintaining their daily routine.
"People from different sectors in society are holding fast to their positions and refusing to concede to violence or other radical actions," she said. "I hereby express my gratitude to those who are still going to work and school today," Lam said.As BBC reported, three people involved in the protests have been shot with live rounds by police since the demonstrations began months ago.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, in a June 18 call with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump reportedly promised to keep quiet about the pro-democracy protests ravaging Hong Kong. In the same phone call, Trump allegedly brought up his two top 2020 presidential challengers, former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, but it remains unclear whether or not he asked China's president to launch investigations into them.