activists in Hong Kong
© Reuters/Tyrone Siu
Pro-democracy activists hit a plainclothes police officer after a march at Sha Tin District of East New Territories, Hong Kong, China July 14, 2019.
Media coverage of recent clashes between demonstrators and police in Hong Kong has focused on acts of police violence, but overlooked footage shows at least one instance in which protesters brutally beat a cowering riot cop.

A short video clip shared on Twitter captured a harrowing moment from Sunday's demonstration in a mall in Hong Kong's Sha Tin district. The video shows a group of protesters kicking a policeman down an escalator. After falling to the ground, the officer is encircled by demonstrators, who begin to beat him.

"Look at these animals," wrote a Twitter user who shared the video. "It's sickening and I feel absolutely ashamed."

Although there were calls for restraint on both sides, the tweet was not particularly well received, with many pointing out that the Hong Kong police have been repeatedly filmed beating and abusing protesters.

One user shared a particularly gruesome video from June, in which a policeman used his riot shield to bludgeon a defenseless woman lying on the ground.

According to reports, 28 civilians and 10 police officers were hospitalized as a result of the violent skirmishes that occurred on Sunday.

Hong Kong has experienced weeks of unrest over a now-suspended extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in Hong Kong to be sent to China to face prosecution.