Carnage in Sao Paulo streets after police 'murder' of 17yo
Inhabitants of the Jacana district of Sao Paulo took to the
streets on Monday evening to protest the death of 17-year-old
student, Douglas Rodrigues, shot dead by a policeman on Sunday
Activists blocked the Fernao Dias highway in the early evening
and set fire to vehicles. According to reports by the Military
Police at least five buses, three trucks and a car were torched
by protesters in the surrounding area. One man was also injured,
reportedly taking a bullet to the chest when military police
intervened to quell the unrest.
Police say the man was caught in the crossfire when officers tried to prevent rioters from sacking local shops. He is now receiving surgery at Sao Luiz Gonzaga hospital.
As a result of the unrest, police say they made around 90 arrests
for vandalism, destruction of property and looting.
The protests intensified following the burial of Douglas Rodrigues, as citizens demanded justice for his killing at the hands of police officer, Luciano Pinheiro, 31.
The victim’s family has accused officer Pinheiro of murdering
Rodrigues as he walked past a bar on Bacurizinho Street in the
North of Sao Paulo with his 12-year-old brother. Police had been
called to the bar after reports of a disturbance of the peace in
Officer Pinheiro claims that the shot that was fired as he exited his vehicle by the bar was ‘accidental.’ Pinheiro is now being held in custody potentially facing a trial for manslaughter, while the Military Police investigate the incident.
“Upon exiting the vehicle, for reasons that have yet to be discerned, a shot was fired by accident that hit a 17-year-old adolescent in the chest,” said a police statement released following the incident.
Reports of police brutality have been widespread in Brazil
recently following a wave of mass protests across the country.
The latest demonstrations saw thousands of teachers march through
the streets of Rio de Janeiro, calling for a salary raise. The
peaceful march descended into violence when anarchist group, the
Black Bloc, joined the protest, prompting police to open fire
with tear gas.
"The police came in firing tear gas, hitting us with clubs. A young Black Bloc stepped right in between me and the police. If it weren't for them, the police would have destroyed us," 47-year-old Andrea Coelho told AP.