A 21-year-old man shot by a police officer in Sai Wan Ho in early November said the use of a live round at such close range was “most ridiculous” as his lawyer vowed to fight any charges that may be brought.
Chow Pak-kwan, joined by his father and lawyer, on Saturday made his first public appearance since being discharged from hospital. He was dressed in black and spoke in a low and hoarse voice, apparently still recovering.
“I found that most ridiculous when [the officer] pulled out his gun,” Chow said. “As one can see from the footage, there is no one on the road, no one else is trying to threaten him.”
Chow was shot by a traffic officer surnamed Kwan during a citywide strike on November 11.
Footage showed Kwan first grappling with another protester before drawing his revolver and pressing it against the other man’s chest, as Chow approached. He then fired at Chow.
Police said the shooting did not deviate from guidelines on the use of firearms. The force also said Kwan was facing a group that was targeting his pistol.
Since the incident, Kwan has been on leave having also suffered injuries during the incident.
A defiant Chow, a Vocational Training Council student, said he had no regrets about being at the scene, although he felt blessed he survived the shooting and would never forget the episode.
“Minutes after being shot, I wondered whether I would die from the incident, but I believed I must live on.
“A man can be shot dead, but ideas are bulletproof,” he said, quoting a line from the movie V for Vendetta.
Chow did not offer his account on the motive or details of the incident in Sai Wan Ho, citing a potential legal proceeding.
After being shot, and following an attempt to flee the scene in vain, Chow was taken to hospital where he stayed until last Wednesday. One of his kidneys and part of his liver were removed during an operation.
He is now on bail after being arrested for unlawful assembly in Sai Wan Ho. No formal charge had been brought against Chow by Saturday, according to his lawyer and former lawmaker Andrew Cheng Kar-foo, nor had police requested Chow to make any statement yet with his legal team planning to do so after his condition improved.
“Whatever charges police may bring, we will fight to the end,” Cheng said. “That’s the instruction of our client for now that he will contest against the offence even if he is only accused of unlawful assembly.”
Chow is still slowly recovering from the shooting. He still has pain on his waist and has to use a walking stick. Despite his injury, he said he would vote in the district council elections on Sunday.