Left Menu
Development News Edition

Black man killed by security guards is buried in Brazil

On Saturday, a political movement that had backed conservative President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted a video that appeared to be from earlier in the confrontation, showing the two guards escorting Freitas out of the store without touching him when he suddenly punched one of them, and both then grabbed him. Both of the guards were detained and face possible homicide charges, according to police authorities.

PTI | Brasilia | Updated: 22-11-2020 02:39 IST | Created: 22-11-2020 02:39 IST
Black man killed by security guards is buried in Brazil

A Black man who died while being beaten by supermarket security guards was buried following protests that echoed those of the racial justice movement in the United States. João Alberto Silveira Freitas, a father of four, was buried on Saturday wearing a white T-shirt in a coffin draped with the flag of his favourite soccer team in the city of Porto Alegre.

“I just want justice," his partner, Milena Borges Alves, told Globo news. “That's all. I just want them to pay for what they did to him. He didn't deserve to die like this.” She said they had planned to formally marry in a few days after living together for nine years. Demonstrators enraged by Freitas' death painted “Black lives matter” on the pavement of Paulista Avenue, one of the most famous in São Paulo, following a series of protests across the country, many of them at branches of the Carrefour supermarket chain.

Some protests continued Saturday. Military police used pepper spray to disperse demonstrators outside a supermarket in the northeastern city of Recife. The outrage was fed by a widely circulated video showing one guard restraining Freitas as another hit him repeatedly in the face.

Another clip later showed a guard kneeling atop Freitas' back in the parking lot of the store in Porto Alegre. On Saturday, a political movement that had backed conservative President Jair Bolsonaro tweeted a video that appeared to be from earlier in the confrontation, showing the two guards escorting Freitas out of the store without touching him when he suddenly punched one of them, and both then grabbed him.

Both of the guards were detained and face possible homicide charges, according to police authorities. The France-based CEO of the Carrefour supermarket group, Alexandre Bompard, sent tweets Friday calling the video images “unbearable” and vowing to go beyond the "insufficient” steps already taken by the company's Brazil branch. “My values and the values of Carrefour are not compatible with racism and violence," he said.

Carrefour earlier said it would end its contract with the security company and fire the store manager who was on duty. Bolsonaro made no direct reference to the case. But in a video speech to the G-20 Summit on Saturday, he denied Brazil suffers from racism and complained of an unspecified movement seeking to “divide” Brazilians.

“As a man and as president, I see everyone in the same colours: (the Brazilian flag's) green and yellow! There is no better skin colour than the others. What exists are good men and bad men; and it is our choices and values that will determine which of the two we will be." His son Eduardo, however, sent a social media post accusing Brazilian leftists of using Freitas as “their George Floyd,” a reference to the man whose death at the hands of police set off protests this year across the United States. The president of the Locomotiva Research Institute, Renato Meirelles, said that cases like Freitas' death “are a trigger for discontent." “Unfortunately, in Brazil, the Black man suffers from inequality and these things happen on a daily basis," he told The Associated Press.

The institute was involved in a recent survey showing that Brazilians overwhelmingly believe Black people are more likely than whites to experience violence or death at the hands of police. Black and mixed-race people account for about 57 per cent of Brazil's population but constitute 74 per cent of victims of lethal violence, according to the Brazilian Forum on Public Safety, a non-governmental organisation. The percentage is even higher, 79 per cent, for those killed by police.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Turbulence surrounding tobacco control in Ghana

... ...

Refugee compassion and response: Ideas to mitigate disasters now and in their future

Their homeland becomes a forbidden territory for them and more likely than not, their journey to foreign soil is no less traumatizing, not to say deadly. It is crucial to help refugees live a life of dignity and purpose....

Inadequate water infrastructure causes a tidal wave of coronavirus in rural Alaska

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Delegates gloomy as final fish talks open at WTO

A final round of negotiations at the World Trade Organization on cutting fisheries subsidies opened on Tuesday with some delegates seeing little hope for a deal by a 2020 deadline despite intensifying negotiations. World leaders committed i...

Biden says his team will create recovery for all, get economy moving again

Introducing his high-profile and experienced team to the nation, US President-elect Joe Biden Tuesday exuded confidence that it will create a recovery for all and get the countrys economy moving again. His economic team includes Janet Yelle...

Lebanon central bank can keep subsidies only for two more months -governor

Lebanons central bank can only keep basic subsidies for two more months and the state should come up with a plan, Governor Riad Salameh said on Tuesday as the countrys financial crisis spirals.He told Saudis al-Hadath TV the central bank wo...

GLOBAL MARKETS-Global equity markets jump, bonds dip, on hopes of vaccine-led recovery

Stock markets rose and safe havens such as U.S. Treasury bonds dipped Tuesday as strong factory data and signs that coronavirus vaccinations could be administered by the end of the year helped prolong a worldwide rally in risk assets even a...

Give Feedback