Deadly protests erupted late Wednesday in Colombia following the death of a man who Bogota police repeatedly tasered during a dispute about social distancing.
At least seven people are dead and 250 injured as protestors clashed with police and set fires. Fifty-eight people have been shot, and over 100 police officers have been injured, according to Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez.
“I am absolutely aware that we need structural police reform,” Lopez said. “But destroying Bogota is not going to fix the police.”
Violent protests broke out in Bogotá, Colombia, on Wednesday night following the death of a man who was shocked with a stun gun by the police. Buses and police stations were set on fire, and seven people died in the demonstrations, authorities say. pic.twitter.com/ozwh2YKCup
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 10, 2020
A viral video of the incident showed 46-year-old Javier Ordonez, a father of two, pinned to the ground and tasered by police as he begged the officers to stop, saying “Please, no more.” Officers had arrested Ordonez for allegedly breaking social distancing rules while publicly drinking. He was later taken to a police station and then to a hospital, where he died.
The two police officers involved in the incident have been suspended. Top Colombian officials are promising an investigation into Ordonez’s death, denouncing police brutality.
“There can be no tolerance for abuse of uniform or of authority,” President Ivan Duque said.
Bogota has witnessed a rise in civil unrest in recent months. There have been 137 complaints of police brutality in Bogota in 2020, Lopez posted on Twitter. In November, tens of thousands of protestors filled the streets in memory of a teenager killed by a projectile fired by riot police during an anti-government protest.