Tear gas was ‘standard procedure’ for pro-democracy protest on Sunday, say police
Police on Monday insisted they had followed procedures in their violent crackdown on anti-government protesters on Sunday. Police fired water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters, 16 of whom were arrested at the rally. Fourteen of those arrested were guards while two were detained for firing a burning strawman at officers.
Among those arrested was Thanadech Srisongkram or “Mon”, who was wanted for participating in a rally outside the Public Health Ministry in Nonthaburi on July 16.
Piya Tawichai, deputy commander of the Metropolitan Police Bureau, said on Monday that police had used appropriate strategies to prevent further damage and violence during the protest. Officers made constant warning announcements throughout the protest, he added.
“The international-standard tear gas used on Sunday can cause pain to the skin and body.” Piya said the gas is more effective when used in an enclosed spot, like Panichayakarn junction.
Eight policemen were injured, six of whom were treated in hospital. The number of injured protesters is still unknown, Piya said.
Police are gathering evidence for arrest warrants for more than 10 protesters, he added.