This photograph shows police officers in riot gear taking a defensive stance outside of a local police station in Mong Kok—a major shopping area in Kowloon, Hong Kong. One police officer has been covered with red paint, used symbolically by protestors to decry police brutality and the excessive use of force.
The protests in Hong Kong have been ongoing since June 2019. While the protests were sparked by a single issue – widespread opposition to a proposed law that would allow extradition to mainland China – government and law enforcement response to the protests has enflamed civil action. In addition to the withdrawal of the extradition bill, protestors demand the government grant amnesty for all protestors, introduce universal suffrage, and launch an inquiry into police misconduct over the course of the protests. The police have been accused of obstruction, evidence tampering, and the use excessive force. More than 4,400 people have been arrested, and several thousand injured.