Police officer in Chile accused of throwing teen off bridge

A police officer in Chile is facing attempted murder charges for allegedly throwing a teenager off a bridge and into a river during a protest in the South American country’s capital of Santiago, officials said.

The North Central Prosecutor’s Office of Santiago accused the police officer of “causing” the 16-year-old boy to fall during Friday protests. Attempted murder charges were subsequently filed against the officer, whose identity was not immediately clear, according to reports.

The teen was in stable condition with head trauma and a wrist fracture following Friday’s incident, reports said. Dozens of people protested on Saturday outside the clinic where he is being treated, condemning the police and carrying signs that said: ″He did not fall, they threw him.”

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However, Enrique Monrás, chief of police in Santiago’s western area, said the youth had lost his balance and fallen over the bridge railing after the police attempted to arrest him. Ambulances were summoned so that they could provide prompt assistance, Monrás said.

  • A youth lies in the Mapocho river after falling from a bridge during a police charge on protesters in Santiago, Chile, Friday Sept.2, 2020. (AP Photo/Aliosha Marquez Alvear)

  • Paramedics attend a youth who fell to the Mapocho river from a bridge during a police charge on protesters in Santiago, Chile, Friday Sept.2, 2020. (AP Photo/Aliosha Marquez Alvear)

  • Paramedics and demonstrators attend a youth who fell into the Mapocho river from a bridge during a police charge on protesters in Santiago, Chile, Friday Sept.2, 2020. (AP Photo/Aliosha Marquez Alvear)

The government said in a statement that it condemns any violation of human rights. It said a police officer who “does not comply with the protocols or the law” must be investigated and tried in the courts.

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The incident raised more concerns about police conduct since protests about a wide range of social and economic problems erupted in Chile a year ago. Some 31 people have died in the unrest and numerous allegations of human rights violations have been filed against police.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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