A lawyer and father-of-two has died in police custody in Colombia, shortly after he was filmed begging for mercy as two officers repeatedly shot him with a Taser.
Javier Ordonez, 46, was arrested in the capital of Bogota early on Wednesday after police accused him of breaking social distancing rules to drink in the street with some friends.
Distressing video shows two armoured officers kneeling on Ordonez as he lays in the road, while being repeatedly shot with a stun gun.
In the footage, Ordonez can be heard screaming ‘por favor, no más (please, no more)’ as the two cops continue to electrocute him.
Javier Ordonez, 46, a lawyer and father-of-two from Colombia, has died in police custody shortly after he was filmed being repeatedly electrocuted by officers as he was arrested
Police say Ordonez 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’
At one point, a witness can be heard saying: ‘They’re going to kill him’.
Ordonez was subsequently taken to a police station where his friends and family allege he was subjected to more abuse.
From there he was taken to hospital, where he died of his injuries.
Colonel Guillén Alexander Amaya Olmos, head of the local police force, said officers were called to reports of a fight in the street by concerned neighbours.
Olmos said that officers arrived to find eight ‘intoxicated’ people in the street, and that when they tried to break up the fight, some of the people became aggressive.
‘It was necessary for the police to restrain them,’ he said, according to Semana.
He added that a number of people were taken to the local police station, where one suffered health problems and was taken to hospital.
Olmos said the person was pronounced dead on arrival.
But those who were with Ordonez have disputed the police account – saying there was no fight, and they encountered the officers while going to buy more drinks.
The two officers involved in the arrest have since been suspended, and an investigation launched by the prosecutor’s office.
The death sparked protests in several Colombian cities, with demonstrators in Bogota using rocks, bins and sticks to attack the police building with Ordonez was held
Demonstrators clash with police outside the station where Ordonez was taken shortly before he died in Bogota, Colombia
A police officer fires tear gas at demonstrators in Bogota amid violence following the death of 46-year-old Javier Ordonez
A woman holds a sign which reads ‘when tyranny is law, disobedience is order’ amid violent demonstrations over the death of Javier Ordonez in Colmbia
Bogota’s mayor Claudia Lopez quickly condemned the death as an example of ‘unacceptable police brutality’ in a Twitter message.
She pledged a full investigation, and an ‘exemplary sentence’ for anyone found guilty.
‘This is not just bad apples. Life is sacred,’ she added.
Ordonez’ death comes in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, an American man who also died while being arrested by police.
His death sparked a wave of Black Lives Matter protests around the world, as people called for an end to racial discrimination and the defunding of police services.
Hundreds of protesters also gathered in Colombia after Ordonez’ death – attacking the police station where he was held, with some using bins, rocks and sticks to batter the windows.
The station and a police vehicle were graffitied and a motorcycle burned.
Demonstrators wheel a large bin into the police building where a lawyer and father-of-two died after being arrested in Colombia
Two demonstrators kick a police officer riding a motorcycle during protests in Bogota
A man uses a slingshot to hurl rocks at police during demonstrations in Bogota
Two police stations were set on fire and three others attacked in different areas of Bogota, the national police said, along with violent protests in other cities including Medellin, Ibague and Pereira.
‘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, the mayor, said on Twitter.
‘There can be no tolerance for abuse of uniform or of authority,’ President Ivan Duque said during an event, adding that ‘objective’ penalties should be applied.
Police involvement in civilian deaths in Colombia is infrequent but not unheard of.
Teenager Dilan Cruz died last November during mass protests after being hit by a police projectile and members of the trans community regularly accuse police of violence.