Note from BW of Brazil: At some point outrage simply turns into a deep sadness and frustration that seems to have no end and no solution. In the past year, between Brazil and the United States, it seems that it’s open season on black males. Of course this has been problem is comparably worse in Brazil for a number of years. The murderous, ruthless Military Police chase and gun down black women, disappear black youth and black men, enter communities shooting and it seems that no one really cares. Is it because the usual victims are young, black and poor? Is it a sense of powerlessness? Is it business as usual? Today’s tragedy is simply the latest in a long stat sheet of the Military Police.
As usual, the details of this story still need to be investigated, but, considering the murderous record of the police, whose story would you believe? No one can say with absolute certainty that the police’s story that an 11-year old child was carrying a gun isn’t possible; in a violent world in which are children are growing up too fast, anything is possible. But we also know that these police are known for trying to cover up their tracks, planting drugs, putting guns in the hands of corpses they shoot down, etc. And again, the community’s not buying it. The details are below, what do you think? (If you aren’t familiar with stories of Brazil’s murderous police, see here)
‘Where’s the gun?’ asks father of boy killed during shootout with UPP
Residents of Camarista Méier said there was no weapon near the child’s body. PMss claimed that he had already been apprehended
By Flávio Araújo
In the day which he would have completed 12 years, Patrick Ferreira de Queiroz will not receive toys or a birthday cake. He will only receive flowers at his funeral, which will likely be scheduled for this Saturday. The boy took three shots back on Thursday morning, during a police operation in the Morro da Cachoeira Grande, Complex do Lins. According to the boy’s father, the trucking assistant Daniel Pinheiro de Queiroz, 48, Patrick was targeted by Military Police of the UPP (Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora or Pacifying Police Unit) (1) Camarista Méier.
In a statement the Coordination of the Pacifying Police (CPP) said there had been an exchange of fire with drug traffickers. According to the text, the boy had been apprehended with a gun, a backpack and a radio transmitter. “Where’s the gun?”, asked the father of the boy in the Instituto Médico-Legal, where he didn’t get the release of his child’s body, which was removed without documentation.
Patrick would have been 12 years old on Saturday and relatives say he was afraid of the police
“They shot Patrick near my house. When I left, I heard he was asking for help, but the PMs isolated the place and threatened me. They said that if I were to help my son, I would be the second corpse,” said Daniel. He says that there was no gun on the ground near the boy’s body. “They said a resident tried to grab the gun and they picked it up.”
The climate in the community was tense throughout the day, with reinforcement and patrolling of the local businesses closed at Gambá, Cachoeira e Cahoeirinha, plus around the Hospital Marcílio Dias.
The boy’s death shocked the neighbors. His cousin Denise da Silva, who lives next door, almost fainted when she saw Patrick’s body. “He had three holes in his back and the lung came out of the front of the body,” she said.
Two UPP Camarista Méier soldiers, who patrolled on Thursday evening in the community, said Patrick was seized last week with drugs and taken to the 25th Precinct (Engenho Novo). According to the report, cried a lot at the police station, said he was sorry and that he wouldn’t work for trafficking anymore. They also said the boy threatened the PMs on the radio and exchanged shots with the police corp.
The boy’s sister, Scarlet Ferreira de Queiroz, 20, denies the information that he had any connection with trafficking. “He was a fearful boy, didn’t fight in the street. So how would he confront the police?” The UPP Camarista Méier was inaugurated in 2013. In October of last year, in the same region, two shipping containers were torched, leaving three injured. It was registered at the 25th Precinct, who seized the weapons of the MPs. Investigations are being headed by the 26th DP (Todos os Santos). The CPP opened a Military Police inquiry to investigate the case.
Boy died after confrontation in UPP is buried to the sound of ‘Happy Birthday’
‘I would request that governor Pezão put prepared police on the streets,’ said the victim’s father
By Carmen Lucia
To the sound of ‘Parabéns pra você’ (Happy Birthday to You), the boy Patrick Ferreira de Queiroz, 11, was buried on Saturday afternoon in the Cemetery of Catumbi in the North Zone of Rio. About 80 people, including relatives and friends, attended the burial, marked by strong emotions. Patrick, who would have been 12 on that day, was killed by a rifle shot fired by Military Police (MP) during an operation in UPP Camarista Méier, last Thursday.
“He was a happy and fun boy, he liked flying kites and playing video games. Patrick was known by the community, everyone liked him. I would request that governor Pezão for more prepared police on the street. The police need to take courses to prepare themselves. This that happened to my son cannot happen anymore,” said Daniel Pinheiro de Queiroz, 48, the victim’s father.
During the funeral, family sing happy birthday to Patrick, who have been 12 years on Saturday. The boy’s father was inconsolable.
Emerson Nascimento, 16, knew Patrick since childhood. “We were best friends, we grew up together. He was never in a fight or confusion. When it happened, the police didn’t let us cover his body, but I went there and covered it,” said the emotional teenager.
After the burial, about 40 people protested in Autoestrada Grajaú-Jacarepaguá (freeway) against the boy’s death. Daniele Sampaio, Patrick’s sister, was indignant. “Nobody wants to break a bus or cause confusion here. It was for the family to have a party and we had to mourn his loss. The UPP has brought nothing good to the community,” said Daniele. Because of the protest, the route was closed partially towards Jacarepagua. The traffic was heavy on the stretch. At least 60 Military Police accompanied the act.
Family will sue the state
Patrick’s family has decided to sue the state. The help will come from attorney João Tancredo, former president of the Comissão de Direitos Humanos da Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil (or Human Rights Commission of the Bar Association of Brazil (in Rio). “The PM stray bullet has a target: black, poor and favela (slum) inhabitants. Something needs to be done against the autos de resistência (death in clashes with the police) that, with the minimal of investigation, reveals the homicides committed by state agents,” said João Tancredo.
On Friday, different versions were given, but none cleared up Patrick’s death. The Coordenation of Police Pacification (CPP) said Thursday that there was an exchange of fire between police and drug dealers and Patrick was shot. At the police station, the PMs involved in the case reported this as auto de resistência. However, witnesses told the family that the boy had been executed.
“They gave a shot and he fell seated. When they got close, the PMs took other shots in the back. Patrick said he was thirsty and the police took water and threw it in his face,” said the boy’s cousin, Denise Balu da Silva, 24.
Commissioner of the 25th DP (Engenho Novo), Niandro Lima, followed the scene examination in Morro da Cachoeira Grande, Complexo do Lins, and said there were no gun triggered capsules found. This would be the weapon that, according to the MP, Patrick carried. The weapons were seized and sent to the Carlos Eboli Instituto de Criminalística (Institute of Criminology). The scene examination will check if any shooting was done with the 9mm caliber pistol, if there were any of Patrick’s fingerprints or that of others. The report will be released in 30 days.
On Friday, the investigations went to the 26th Precinct (Todos os Santos). Another analysis, of the Medico-Legal Institute (IML), will show if there was gunpowder on the boy’s hands. If positive, the result will contradict the version of confrontation given by UPP officers. Patrick’s father, Daniel, 48, reiterated that he was threatened by Military Police and prevented from rescuing his son. “The police said that if I took one more step I would also be lying on the ground like him,” said Daniel.
‘They took a shot and he fell seated. Coming closer, MPs took other shots in the back’ – Denise Silva, 24, the boy’s aunt
Patrick’s death: Tragedy or condemnation?
By Walmyr Junior*
11 year old child dies in a slum in Rio de Janeiro. Appalled to see that the case is being forgotten by the mainstream media, I want to describe here, with much discomfort, what the extermination of the people of the favela is.
When there is a case like that of the boy Patrick, we see the future of the favela be exterminated along with him. The child of only 11 years, was shot dead on Thursday morning (15), in the community Camarista Méier, North Zone of Rio. The police raid in the slum took the life of a boy and alleged that had a pistol, a backpack with drugs and a radio transmitter.
Yet to elucidate the case, according to the newspaper O Dia, the child’s father says that there was no pistol near the body soon after the boy was shot. The case was registered at the 25th Precinct (Novo Engenho), which described the case as death resulting from intervention, in other words, another auto de resistência.
What terrifies me, as said in the beginning of the text, is the naturalization of violence. AN 11-YEAR OLD CHILD was shot dead and the population isn’t bothered by that. Upon learning of the incident I felt a horrible pain, I was frustrated and I wondered if society felt the pain I was feeling. According to their reaction, no.
It matters little to society if another black was killed in the favela. It was just another of the millions that policy of security wants to exterminate. I think in truth it was one less. One less that doesn’t go to the asphalt to rob a playboy. One less that who won’t be the assailant that robbed the businessman, that kidnapped your child. It was just one less that won’t take the place of her white son in college.
When a black child from the favela dies we clearly see the faces of institutional racism. Historically the criminalization of poverty hides the tragedies that are the everyday of residents of periphery communities. If Patrick was or was not involved with the case is not fitting for me to judge, but to characterize what happened as the death penalty for a 11 year old boy is, at the least a mental health problem and a large complex of divinity.
We lost another child to violence, one more than might be judged as ‘one less’. I wonder: If Patrick remained alive would he be a danger to society? Is the future of a black child from the favela really judged by the records of violence in the community? Honestly, I would say that in the favela dreams are cut at its root and there are few survivors of this war. Patrick was the victim this time. Who will be next?
*Walmyr Junior is professor. A representative of Coletivo Enegrecer como Conselheiro Nacional de Juventude – CONJUVE (Enegrecer Collective as National Youth Council – CONJUVE). He’s part of the Pastoral da Juventude e a Pastoral Universitária da PUC-Rio (Ministry of Youth and University Student Ministry at PUC-Rio. He represented civil society in the meeting with the Pope Francisco at the Municipal Theater, during JMJ (Jornada Mundial da Juventude or World Youth Day.
1. The Pacifying Police Unit (Portuguese: Unidade de Polícia Pacificadora, also translated as Police Pacification Unit), abbreviated UPP, is a law enforcement and social services program pioneered in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which aims at reclaiming territories, more commonly favelas, controlled by gangs of drug dealers. The program was created and implemented by State Public Security Secretary José Mariano Beltrame, with the backing of Rio Governor Sérgio Cabral. The stated goal of Rio’s government is to install 40 UPPs by 2014. By May 2013, 231 favelas had come under the UPP umbrella. Source