BOGOTA, Sept 10 — A Colombian father of two died in the capital of Bogota after police officers detained and repeatedly shocked him with a stun gun despite his pleas for them to stop, authorities said yesterday, igniting protests outside the police station.
Bogota Mayor Claudia Lopez called it an example of “unacceptable police brutality” on her Twitter account.
The incident took place early yesterday when, according to police, Javier Humberto Ordonez, 46, was drinking alcohol in the street with others, in violation of social distancing rules designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
In a widely shared video, Ordonez is pinned to the ground by two officers and subjected to successive electric shocks as he begs them, “Please, no more.”
Ordonez was subsequently taken to a police station where his friends and family allege he was subjected to more abuse. He died later in hospital.
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside the police station where Ordonez was held, according to a Reuters witness, with some using trash cans to batter the windows. A police vehicle was graffitied.
“We’ll offer Javier’s family legal assistance so there is a conviction not only of those directly responsible, but also to see structural reform that prevents and punishes police brutality,” Lopez said on Twitter. “This isn’t about bad apples. Life is sacred!”
The officers have been relieved of their duties while an internal disciplinary investigation is under way and a separate criminal investigation is conducted by the attorney general’s office, Defence Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo said in a video posted on Twitter, condemning the attack.
Death at the hands of police in Colombia is infrequent. Last November, teenager Dilan Cruz died in Bogota during mass protests after being hit in the head by a projectile fired by a police officer.
Members of the city’s trans community regularly accuse the police of violence toward them. — Reuters