At least seven protesters died and 151 police officers and protesters were injured in a night of unrest, mostly in Colombia's capital Bogotá, on Wednesday after a 46-year-old aspiring lawyer and father of two died in police custody.
The footage of the riot showed a group of protesters angry about the death of Javier Ordóñez, who attacked and attacked two policemen with objects in Bogotá before several others joined in and kicked the defenseless officers.
Several videos shared on social media also captured the moment police stations and emergency response centers were destroyed and set on fire.
The Defense Department said 55 protesters were injured and hospitalized. At least 87 of the 96 injured police officers were assigned to the Bogotá police force. A total of 56 police stations were damaged and 53 emergency response centers were destroyed.
“I would like to reiterate the pain caused by the death of Javier Ordóñez, as well as the repeated feeling of solidarity with his family members, with whom progress is being made in establishing contacts and of course in defining actions that will make this feeling of Javier Ordóñez bring forth solidarity that he has today with the Colombian government and our compatriots as a result of his death, "said Defense Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo on Thursday.
Javier Ordóñez died Tuesday evening in a hospital in Bogotá, Colombia, after appearing in a video of being verbally abused and beaten by two police officers
Two police officers were suspended by Bogotá city police after they were repeatedly beaten, kneeled and beaten on video Tuesday, Javier Ordóñez
Protesters rush towards one of two police officers who were beaten after violent demonstrations in Bogotá, Colombia, on Wednesday, the day after the death of a man in police custody
Tensions rose as protesters clashed with police officers over Ordóñez's death Tuesday after his friend Juan David Uribe filmed two police officers beat and verbally abused him as he called for mercy.
Ordóñez, Uribe and a group of friends were out of alcohol and were returning from a local shop when they were stopped by the two police officers.
Uribe said in an interview with RCN TV on Wednesday that one of the police officers told Ordóñez that he would not just get away with it this time, regarding other times the police officer stopped him for drinking in public.
Uribe added that Ordóñez asked the police officer to only give him a summons and admitted that he was breaking the rules of social distancing to drink on the street.
The video shows the two police officers kneeling on Ordóñez as he was lying on the sidewalk while the police officers used a taser to handcuff him.
In the video, Ordóñez can be heard screaming for mercy and yelling "por favor, no más [please, no more]" while the two police officers continue to electrocute him.
The video shows one of the policemen who repeatedly hits Ordóñez in the head with an object.
Javier Ordóñez, 46, a soon-to-be lawyer and father of two from Colombia, died in police custody shortly after he was filmed when he was repeatedly electrocuted by officers while he was being arrested
Police say Ordóñez was drinking in the street in violation of social distancing rules when he was stopped by two officers who accused members of his group of "being aggressive".
A protester set fire to a police emergency center in Bogotá on Wednesday
Uribe is heard telling the cops to stop and say, "You're going to kill him."
A second version of the video showed Ordoñez being ushered into a police vehicle before being taken to a police station where his friends and family claim he has been subjected to more abuse.
From there he was taken to the hospital where he died of his injuries. Uribe said this was confirmed by a doctor he spoke to about five minutes after arriving at the medical facility.
Ordóñez is the father of two boys, ages 11 and 15, and was about to graduate from law school after earning an aviation degree.
The commander of the Bogotá Municipal Police, Carlos Rodríguez, met with Ordóñez & # 39; family on Thursday.
Colonel Guillén Alexander Amaya Olmos of the Bogotá Municipal Police said the officers had been called by affected neighbors to report a fight on the street.
Olmos said officials arrived to find eight "drunk" people on the street and that some of the people became aggressive as they tried to end the fight.
"The police had to hold them back," he said, according to Semana.
He added that a number of people were taken to the local police station, where one suffered from health problems, and was taken to the hospital.
Olmos said the person was pronounced dead upon arrival.
But those who were with Ordóñez denied the police account – they said there was no fight and they met the officers when they bought more drinks.
The two officers involved in the arrest have since been suspended and an investigation by the prosecutor has started.
The death sparked protests in several Colombian cities. Protesters in Bogotá used stones, containers and sticks to attack the police building where Ordóñez was being held
Protesters clash with police outside the station where Ordóñez was arrested shortly before his death in Bogotá, Colombia
A police officer fires tear gas at protesters in Bogotá after 46-year-old Javier Ordóñez died of violence
A woman holds a sign that reads "If tyranny is law, disobedience is order" amid violent demonstrations over the death of Javier Ordóñez in Colombia
Bogota's mayor Claudia López quickly condemned the death in a Twitter message as an example of "unacceptable police brutality".
She promised a full investigation and "model sentence" to anyone found guilty.
& # 39; These aren't all bad apples. Life is sacred, ”she added.
Ordóñez's death is due to the murder of George Floyd, an American who also died when he was arrested by police.
His death sparked a wave of protests against Black Lives Matter around the world as people called for an end to racial discrimination and the de-funding of police services.
Protesters push a large trash can into the police building where a lawyer and father of two died after being arrested in Colombia
Two protesters kick a policeman who rides a motorcycle during protests in Bogota
A man hurls stones at the police during demonstrations in Bogota
Two police stations were set on fire and three others attacked in different areas of Bogotá, national police said, along with violent protests in other cities such as Medellín, Ibague and Pereira.
"We will offer Javier's family legal assistance so that not only those directly responsible are convicted, but also structural reforms that prevent and punish the brutality of the police," said Mayor López on Twitter.
"There can be no tolerance for abuse of uniform or authority," President Ivan Duque said during an event, adding that "objective" penalties should be imposed.
Police involvement in civilian deaths in Colombia is rare but not uncommon.
Teenage boy Dilan Cruz died in mass protests last November after being hit by a police projectile. Members of the trans community regularly accuse the police of violence.