A Chilean police officer has been detained on suspicion of attempted murder after he allegedly threw a teenage protester from a bridge during protests on Friday, the country’s Prosecutor’s Office has said.
Videos purporting to show the incident at an anti-government protest in capital city Santiago have gone viral in Chile, sparking anger and a fresh round of demonstrations over the weekend. The footage appeared to show a scuffle before the boy, 16, falls head first over the side of the bridge.
The Prosecutor’s Office also said the officer involved “abandoned the victim” and “gave false information to the Prosecutor’s Office.”
But the officer’s lawyer Nubia Vivanco rejected the charges at a hearing Sunday, saying that the officer had followed protocol and that teenager had been trying to escape.
Enrique Monrás, Chief of police in the region of Santiago where the incident occurred, said that the teenager lost his balance and fell, and that the officer immediately notified emergency services.
The boy was injured in the fall into Santiago’s Mapocho River and was admitted to a medical care center, Reuters reported.
Protests were taking place in the city ahead of the Chilean national plebiscite on October 25, which will determine whether the country will move away from its current Pinochet-era constitution.
Chile’s government said on Saturday that it had ordered an investigation into the matter, and that the officer involved will be removed from his duties while it is carried out.
A gathering took place in Santiago that day in response to the incident, with protesters demanding the arrest of the officer involved.
CNN’s Hande Atay Alam and CNNE’s Florencia Trucco and Christopher Ulloa contributed reporting