Uproar in Colombia over police custody death leaves 7 dead

National / World

A masked and hooded man hurls stones at police during protests sparked by the death of a man after he was detained by police for violating social distancing rules to curb the spread of the coronavirus in Bogota, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. Javier Ordonez died in a hospital after receiving repeated electric shocks with a stun gun from officers who detained him, seen on a video taken by Ordonez’s friend, and published on social media. (AP Photo/Ivan Valencia)

BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) —

A night of uproar in Colombia’s capital over the death of a man in police custody has left seven people dead, dozens injured and buildings vandalized.

The Ministry of Defense said Thursday the wave of violence in Bogota in response to a video showing police holding down a man being tasered left 56 police stations damaged and 8 city buses burned.

The mayor’s office reported that 248 civilians were injured.

“Colombia demands justice,” Interior Vice Minister Daniel Palacios said. “But the violent acts yesterday also fill us with pain and as a consequence take more lives.”

The outrage stems from the death of Javier Ordóñez, whose violent encounter with police was captured by witnesses and went viral on social media. In the video, two officers pin Ordóñez to a sidewalk while he is tasered.

“Stop, stop please!” he can he heard crying.

“He’s telling you to stop!” a witness yells in the background. “We’re recording you.”

Ordóñez’s family told local media he is a lawyer by training who has been working as a taxi driver.

Authorities vowed to conduct a thorough investigation into his death while also calling on citizens to cease acts of violence and vandalism. Over 1,500 additional officers and 300 soldiers are being deployed throughout Bogota.

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