THERE’S outrage after a "pregnant woman" was pepper-sprayed and body slammed by volatile cops - who warn that Hong Kong is teetering “on the brink of collapse".
Shocking video shows the victim being doused with the toxic liquid, and then grappled to the ground by seven heavily armed officers.
A cop squirts the woman several times in Hong KongCredit: Joshua Wong
The moment she is shoved on the ground - and a cop's gun falls on the groundCredit: Joshua Wong
The wounded woman yells for help in the footage, shared on YouTubeCredit: Twitter/@joshuawongcf
The young woman - described as seemingly "pregnant" by the man filming the fracas - approaches one of the officers, in riot gear.
Standing merely feet from him, he suddenly squirts her eyes and mouth with the pepper-spray.
As she turns her face away, shielding it with her hands and backs away in obvious discomfort, he again targets her, spraying the woman at least two more times, while she screams in pain.
Joshua Wong, who captured the woman’s frightening ordeal, said on Twitter: It’s a pregnant woman they pepper sprayed and forced to the ground! Outrage!”
This mad cop pepper-sprayed her without warning.
It's believed that she had been arguing with the officer on the way to work.
According to footage shared on YouTube, "this mad cop pepper-sprayed her without warning."
Then, she is physically forced to the ground by at least seven cops, who swooped on her.
She had been trying to remove the spray from her eyes.
The stricken woman can be heard yelling "Help! Help!" to bystanders.
Other people call out to the police, asking why she's being arrested, as one of the officers drops his gun on the ground in his rush to restrain her.
After another policeman retrieves the weapon, bystanders are warned to "leave, or we will use pepper spray on you!"
The 'pregnant' woman was surrounded by about seven officers, who forced her to the groundCredit: Joshua Wong
Reuters said today that police fired tear gas at pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong's Central financial district and at demonstrators on the other side of the harbour.
Senior Superintendent Kong Wing-cheung said: "Our society has been pushed to the brink of a total breakdown."
Cops and protesters battled outside university campuses and several thousand demonstrators blocked roads as they took over a central business district at lunchtime on Tuesday.
The clashes followed an especially violent day in Hong Kong's five months of anti-government demonstrations, in which police shot one protester and a man was set on fire, says the Associated Press.
Riot police detain a protester at the Chinese University in Hong KongCredit: Reuters
Pro-democracy protesters raise their hands as they're detained by police in central Hong KongCredit: AP:Associated Press
University students were today targeted by riot policeCredit: Reuters
Pro-democracy protesters block traffic during this morning's commuteCredit: AP:Associated Press
Riot police extinguish a fire at the universityCredit: Reuters
Police used tear gas to drive back protesters in and around universities, where classes were cancelled.
Outside Chinese University, scores of officers charged on to the campus after firing tear gas, arresting student protesters who tried to block their way with makeshift barricades, including a burning car.
They demanded democratic changes and investigation of police treatment of protesters.
One 24-year-old man, who would not give his name, said he was there to support the protesters and accused cops of using excessive force, a common complaint among the city's 7.4 million people.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam urged the government to address the underlying concerns behind the protests and the protesters to engage in dialogue.
With more than 260 people arrested on Monday alone, the total number of those arrested by police since the action kicked off in June has risen to about 3,560.
Why are people protesting in Hong Kong?
The protests in Hong Kong began in June, over a proposed law.
The new rule would have allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China.
Activists saw the bill as another sign of an erosion in Hong Kong's autonomy and civic freedoms.
China had promised that Hong Kong would be maintained for 50 years under a "one nation, two systems" principle.
This pledge was made when the former British colony was returned to Chinese control in 1997.
Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam eventually withdrew the extradition bill.
She says protesters are being 'selfish'.
The US has condemned "unjustified use of deadly force".
It's urged demonstrators and police to calm down, and de-escalate the situation.
But speaking from Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang urged Britain and America not to intrude.
China has a garrison of up to 12,000 troops in Hong Kong.
While they've been kept to barracks since 1997, China has threatened it will crush any attempts at independence - a demand for a minority of protesters.
Those demonstrating have called upon Hong Kong's politicians to stop labelling them as rioters.
Plus they want criminal cases to be dropped against activitists.
Demonstrators carry umbrellas behind a fireCredit: Reuters
A man is detained after police fired tear gas at activistsCredit: AFP or licensors
Student protesters sit outside a residential block in Kowloon Tong, Hong KongCredit: Reuters