Police tackle protesters over Olympic torch relay disruption in Rio (VIDEO)
As the iconic symbol of the Olympic Games entered the municipality of Angra dos Reis, protesters demonstrating against the local government surrounded the official torch carrier. Officers then intervened, according to local reports.
Brazil’s TNOnline reported that riot police deployed tear gas during the protest on Wednesday, which led to the Olympic Committee canceling part of the celebrations in the area.
Videos purportedly showing the incident suggest that the flame was at one point extinguished, and that police were required to quell the uproar.
A Tocha Olímpica foi apagada hoje em Angra dos Reis. A população demonstra de forma extrema sua insatisfação. pic.twitter.com/HXfItI0eDt— Augusto Emilio (@augustoemil) July 28, 2016
A compilation of the Wednesday night protests depict groups of people surrounding the Olympic delegation.
One video shows the torch bearer receiving a police escort onto a bus. The flame was not lit at that point.
A local newspaper based in the nearby state of Minas Gerais reported that the crowds were voicing their anger at public healthcare in the city, and that the torch was put out for a time in the Japuíba neighborhood.
The people of Brazil have been less than enamored with the financial costs of the Games, and earlier this month police officers demanding unpaid wages urged visitors not to attend the event due to safety concerns.
Wednesday’s disturbance is the latest episode in the torch’s troublesome tour around the country since it arrived in Brazil, having been lit in Athens, Greece, on May 3.
The relay team has so far witnessed a motorcycle collision, a clumsy fall, and numerous attempts to grab or extinguish the Olympic flame.