A Chilean police officer faces attempted murder charges for throwing a teenager from a bridge into a river during a protest in the South American capital of Santiago, officials said.
The north-central Santiago prosecutor’s office accused the police officer of “knocking down” the 16-year-old boy during Friday’s protests. Charges of attempted murder were subsequently filed against the officer, whose identity was not immediately clear, according to reports.
The teenager was in stable condition with head trauma and a broken wrist after Friday’s incident, according to reports. Dozens of people demonstrated in front of the clinic where he is being treated on Saturday, condemning the police and carrying signs saying: “He did not fall, they threw him. ”
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However, Enrique Monrás, police chief in the western area of Santiago, said the youth lost his balance and fell over the railing of the bridge after police tried to arrest him. Ambulances were called in so that they could provide rapid assistance, Monrás said.
The government said in a statement that it condemned any human rights violations. He said a police officer who “disobeys protocols or the law” must be investigated and tried by the courts.
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The incident has raised more concerns about police conduct since protests against a wide range of social and economic issues erupted in Chile a year ago. Some 31 people have died in the unrest and numerous allegations of human rights violations have been brought against the police.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.