A Chilean cop has been charged with trying to kill a protester after he was filmed seemingly firing a tear gas canister at a man walking down the street – fracturing his skull.
First sergeant of the Carabineros (Chilean police) Juan Gabriel Maulen has been charged with the attempted homicide of Esteban Carter Anguita, 32, who was shot with tear gas during anti-government protests in Rancagua, in the central Chilean region of O’Higgins.
The incident took place on 13th December 2019 but the video, used as evidence by the prosecution, has only recently been released.
Prosecutor Javier Von Bichoffshausen told local media “the officer, in the middle of the protest, pointed and shot directly at the victim’s head who was simply standing with his arms folded.”
Victim Anguita was walking to a bus station to go back to his home in Machali when an officer shot him from behind from around nine metres (30 feet) away.
The video shows the victim standing in the street as protesters run past him. He then turns away from the police in riot gear and begins strolling away when the tear gas canister was fired at him.
His skull was fractured in the incident and he suffered haematoma to the brain, according to reports.
Local media report the officers left Anguita’s body on the ground before onlookers rushed to help him. He was taken to Rancagua’s regional hospital where he underwent urgent surgery.
He says his memory has not been working properly since the incident and a part of his brain “is not going to be born again”.
He was released from hospital 16 days after the incident and local media report that he is under psychiatric treatment due to severe depression.
The suspect remains in preventative prison and it is unclear if a trial date has been set.
Local media reported that since 19th October 2019, the National Institute of Human Rights of Chile has registered 3,765 people injured by officers of the state in protests against the government.
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