Violent protests in Colombia after a man dies in police custody


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Violent protests erupted in Colombia’s capital Bogota on Wednesday night following the death of a man who was attacked by police with a stun gun.

According to officials, seven people died in the demonstrations, while buses and police stations were set on fire.

Protests follow months of epidemic lockdowns in the city of about eight million people, and there is concern about police misuse. The watchdog also took place in the United States in the wake of protests over police violence, which was widely publicized in Colombia.

A video of an encounter between the man, Javier Ordonez, and two officers shows Mr. Ordóñez’s face on the ground. An officer repeatedly kills him with a stun gun, and Mr. Ordonez can be heard saying, “Please no more.“In the video, which lasts for several minutes, the people watching can be heard saying that the police will ask him to stop hurting him.

The video was widely circulated on social media on Wednesday, depicting several streets.

According to police spokesman, General Gustavo Moreno, at least 148 people were injured overnight, most of them in Bogota. Police took about 70 people into custody.

Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez said Thursday morning that the city’s 46 streets have been “completely destroyed.”

“I am fully aware that we need structural police reform,” Ms. Lopez said. “But destroying Bogota is not going to fix the police.”

Police Colonel Alexander Amaya told BluRadio soon after the incident that officers were disputing several people who were drinking alcohol.

“They became aggressive,” Colonel Amaya said. “The police had to subdue them.”

A police spokesman declined to provide further details, saying the case was now under investigation.

A man who said he was a witness to the stun gun incident, Juan David Uribe, said in an interview with CityTV that the police account was not true, and there was no argument.

“It’s a total lie,” Mr. Uribe said.

On the same television program, Alvia Bermudez, an aunt of Mr. Ordóñez, stated that she was a lawyer with two children, who made her driving a taxi.

Sophia Viramil contributed reporting from Bogota.