Many mocked the officers, shouting sarcastic chants such as “I want to drink alcohol and get laid”, as well as more familiar protest slogans, as small groups of confused revelers looked on.
Police declared an “unlawful assembly” and eventually fired tear gas to disperse the crowds sending plumes of acrid smoke wafting through the city’s commercial district once more.
Many of those protesting wore outfits poking fun at the city’s leadership.
Yan Lee, an accountant in her 50s, wore a mask that combined the face of justice secretary Theresa Cheng with the Disney villain Maleficent.
“For months she has done nothing for Hong Kong but defend the authorities,” she told AFP.
Another protester, who gave her surname as Loo, had painted her face in the style of Batman’s nemesis, The Joker.
She said she was inspired by the recent Hollywood film that traces The Joker’s origin story as he launches a revolution against Gotham City’s elites.
“The idea that everyone owns the spirit to fight touched me a lot,” she said.
Tear gas was also fired across the harbour in Mongkok and Prince Edward where hardcore protesters had adopted a less satirical but more familiar tactic — blocking roads and setting fire to makeshift barricades.
Activists were marking two months since police were filmed beating protesters in Prince Edward subway station, one of multiple incidents this summer that have fanned hostility towards the force.