The death of one unarmed teenager is helping to turn the tide of public opinion against Philippine President Rodrgio Duterte’s brutal drug war, in which thousands of Filipinos have been shot by police over the past year. 17-year-old Kian Loyd delos Santos was one of 96 people killed in a Manila drug raid that police referred to as a “one-time, big-time” crackdown on drug dealers and users in the nation’s capital and suburbs.
The police reported that delos Santos had been carrying a handgun, and that they shot him in self-defense after he “fought it out” with them. Since the teen’s shooting on August 16th, surveillance footage has been released that contradicts the official explanation. Witnesses have reported that they saw police hand delos Santos a gun, tell him to run, and then shoot him.
An autopsy found that the teen took two bullets to the head at short range, and delos Santos’ father said that the gun was found in his son’s left hand, even though he was right-handed. The public outrage over the shooting has spread to the state Senate, where some of the president’s allies even crossed party lines to vote in favor of an official investigation.