Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Mass riots follow police ‘murder’ of teenager in Sao Paulo

People ride bikes by a car on fire in a highway in Sao Paulo, on October 28, 2013, following disturbances triggered by the accidental fatal shooting --on the eve-- by police of a 17-year-old boy  (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)
People ride bikes by a car on fire in a highway in Sao Paulo, on October 28, 2013, following disturbances triggered by the accidental fatal shooting --on the eve-- by police of a 17-year-old boy (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)
 
 
Enraged protesters torched vehicles and ransacked shops in, Sao Paulo, following the killing of a 17-year-old at the hands of a policeman. Police took around 90 people into custody and have promised an inquiry into the death of the teenager.
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 night.
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.

Riot sence of burnt trucks at highway in Sao Paulo, on October 28, 2013, following disturbances triggered by the accidental fatal shooting --on the eve-- of a 17-year-old boy by the police (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)
Riot sence of burnt trucks at highway in Sao Paulo, on October 28, 2013, following disturbances triggered by the accidental fatal shooting --on the eve-- of a 17-year-old boy by the police (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)
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.

View of a car on fire in a highway in Sao Paulo, on October 28, 2013, following disturbances triggered by the accidental fatal shooting --on the eve-- of a 17-year-old boy by the police (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)
View of a car on fire in a highway in Sao Paulo, on October 28, 2013, following disturbances triggered by the accidental fatal shooting --on the eve-- of a 17-year-old boy by the police (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)

‘Murder’

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 the area.

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.

View of a car on fire in a highway in Sao Paulo, on October 28, 2013, following disturbances triggered by the accidental fatal shooting --on the eve-- of a 17-year-old boy by the police (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)
View of a car on fire in a highway in Sao Paulo, on October 28, 2013, following disturbances triggered by the accidental fatal shooting --on the eve-- of a 17-year-old boy by the police (AFP Photo / Miguel Schincariol)
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.
 

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