7 killed in Colombia protests against police brutality

At least seven people were killed in violent protests against police brutality in Colombia’s capital Bogota, the police said.

The protests were triggered after the death of a man at the hands of police on Tuesday, Xinhua news agency.

Lawyer Javier Ordonez, a father of two, was repeatedly tasered by police before he died later in hospital, according to media reports.

Addressing reporters on Thursday, deputy chief of police, Gustavo Moreno, accompanied by Defence Minister Carlos Holmes Trujillo, said that more than 140 people were injured in the protests — 87 officers and 55 civilians– while 70 others were arrested.

Protesters set fire to 17 police stations and posts in different parts of the city, and vandalized 77 vehicles and 25 public transit buses, setting nine of them on fire, according to the authorities.

Police motorcycles and patrol cars were also targeted, and various ATMs looted, they said.

Trujillo said the government would beef up security by deploying hundreds of soldiers to the streets of Bogota.

He called on citizens not to condemn the entire police force for the actions of two officers, who have been suspended.

Protests also broke out in other major cities, such as Medellin and Cali.