Public Buildings Set Ablaze in Chile After Police Shoot Street Juggler - CircusTalk

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Public Buildings Set Ablaze in Chile After Police Shoot Street Juggler

Protesters were outraged by the killing, which was recorded on video. Ten public offices burned to the ground, leaving a city of almost 34,000 practically without public services.

Demonstrators angered by the fatal police shooting of a popular street juggler set several public buildings ablaze in southern Chile Friday night, leaving a city of almost 34,000 people practically without public services.

Ten public offices in the city of Panguipulli burned to the ground, including the municipal government building, the post office, the civil registry, a local court and a water management company, the authorities said.

A police officer has been detained in the shooting, the head of the regional homicide unit, Rodrigo Morales, said on Saturday, adding that investigators were gathering video evidence from witnesses. The officer was not publicly identified and did not appear on Saturday at a court hearing, where he was represented by a lawyer.

The shooting took place after the juggler, identified as Francisco Martínez, did not comply with a police officer’s request to provide identification as he performed at a busy intersection in the center of Panguipulli, a popular lakeside community, witnesses said.

An argument followed, during which the officer pulled out his gun and fired at least two shots at Mr. Martínez’s feet, witnesses told reporters. Videos taken by witnesses, which spread widely on social media, show the juggler jumping to avoid the shots then running toward the officer with his props in the air. The officer then shot him in the chest, witnesses said, and he died at the scene.

Police officers described the shooting as an act of self-defense, saying Mr. MartĂ­nez was threatening the officer with a machete-like weapon. Witnesses interviewed by news media Friday night said it was a tin sword, a prop for his juggling show.

In interviews with several media outlets, Panguipulli’s mayor, Rodrigo Valdivia, described Mr. MartĂ­nez, 25, as a quiet, respectful young man who was well known in town because he had lived on the streets on and off for several years, performing for its many tourists and using the municipal shelter and food kitchen during the winter…

Read the Full Article atThe New York Times

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