Chile Police Capturing Results in Protests in Southern City
During protests in a city in southern Chile on Friday, buildings were burned down as angry protesters responded to police being shot dead by a street juggler.
The shooting took place in the city of Panguipulli on Friday afternoon after police officers tried to verify the juggler’s identity, ADN Radio Chile reported. The regional government later said on Twitter that the man had died as a result of the shooting.
On Friday evening, video footage circulated on social media that appeared to show burning buildings and barricades in Panguipulli. A local official, Carlos Durán, posted a video on Facebook showing multiple fires across the city, with thick clouds of smoke rising into the night sky.
News reported that several government buildings were set on fire. A photographer has taken pictures of firefighters fighting a fire in the city mayor’s office.
There were also confrontations between protesters and police in the capital, Santiago, hundreds of miles north of Panguipulli, The Associated Press reported.
Some Twitter users posted recordings of the flames in Panguipulli with the hashtag: “He did not die, they murdered him.”
Others called for police reform or compared the episode to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota last year, which sparked protests across the United States. Mr. Floyd, a The 46-year-old black man died after being handcuffed and pinned to the floor under the knee of a white policeman.
“It happened in broad daylight in a moment of complete peace and without endangering public safety,” wrote Chilean writer and literary critic Pedro Gandolfo on Twitter. “A shameful act with a tragic result.”
ADN posted a video of the filming in Panguipulli on its website. The 25-second clip shows a man dressed in black standing at an intersection, holding several knives in his hand and yelling at two police officers who have approached him with guns drawn.
After an officer fires two shots, the man chases the officer into the intersection. Three more shots can be heard and the man appears to fall to the ground.
ADN quoted a police officer, Lieutenant Colonel Boris Alegría, as saying on Friday that the juggler was carrying machetes and that the officer who shot him was defending himself.
Just before midnight, the station reported that the officer who shot the juggler had been arrested and that his arrest would be formalized on Saturday.
César Asenjo Jerez, a regional official, said in a short video uploaded to a government Twitter account on Friday evening that a police officer in Panguipulli had used a service weapon and that the authorities were investigating. An official who answered the phone at regional government headquarters early Saturday said no one was available for comment.