Footage of the stunt has been shared widely online after it was filmed in Grand Plaza in Mong Kok, Hong Kong.
The protester, who is thought to be a man, wouldn’t have looked out of place in an action film as he arrived on the scene dressed in black and wearing a mask, like the ultimate ninja.
His flying kick appeared to strike the officer on his neck, knocking his head backwards and causing him to fall to the ground. In the process, the officer let go of the protester he had been grabbing, suggesting the flying kick saved him from getting arrested.
The attacker also landed on the ground but quickly sprung back to his feet and fled out of sight as two other protesters appeared and started attacking the officer, with one wielding some sort of plank or bat. The other seemed to try and pull the officer’s gun away from him before giving up and sprinting away.
Following the brawl, the officer got to his feet, seemingly uninjured.
The protester’s flying kick has been compared to the actions of martial artist Bruce Lee:
But while some are impressed by the dramatic stunt, others have used the scene as an example of how Hong Kong protesters are attacking police.
Anti-Beijing protests have been going on for months in Hong Kong following a proposal to enact a new law that would have meant criminal suspects could be sent to mainland China to stand trial. Critics feared this could undermine Hong Kong’s judicial independence and endanger dissidents.
The bill has since been withdrawn but protesters reportedly said this was ‘too little, too late’, with protests becoming increasingly violent.
While the above video is evidence of the protesters’ attacks on police, the authorities have been accused of violent acts of their own.
Police have used tear gas, rubber bullets and bean bags to disperse protesters occupying roads. According to the Hong Kong Free Press, one police recruit actually quit his training and joined the protests after seeing the way the authorities were behaving.
Referring to officers from the Special Tactical Squad, he commented:
I started to have doubts after watching the news… I will never forget that scene: Raptors charged at a student who had surrendered, and hit him with batons while he lay on the ground.
That was inconsistent with the use of force guidelines that I was learning in Police College.
The BBC reports China’s president, Xi Jinping, has issued a warning against dissent, saying any attempt to divide China will end in ‘bodies smashed and bones ground to powder’.