Black Civil Police Officer is Beaten by White Military Police Officer
Note from BW of Brazil: It is also intriguing to me when things that happen in Brazil are mirrored in one way or another in the United States and vice versa. And it’s especially ironic when one incident happens soon after the first. In late May/early June, a video being shared online showed a black man in a red shirt being arrested in Rochester, Minnesota by police. As the video continues, according to the headline, the arresting officers soon discovered that the man they arrested was actually an FBI agent. That was the report, but the truth is that, it was in fact a case of mistaken identity but the man in the red shirt was not an FBI agent.
So, in this case, it is neither a coincidence nor a case that happened soon before or after another case. As it turns out, the person who recorded the video hadn’t released it when he recorded it in 2019 but decided to release it recently because of all of the commotion surrounding the death of George Floyd, also in Minnesota.
Even though that case may have been falsely labeled, a recent situation in São Paulo is real and, again, speaks volumes for how black people are treated in Brazil. An article from a few months ago went into the challenges of being a black Military Police officer in Braziland this is a clear example. Think about this. Even doing your duty as police and protecting the lives of citizens, you are subject to be treated like a criminal by your police colleagues.
Black civil police officer is stopped and beaten by PM while taking suspects
By Luís Adorno
“Go, negão, lie on the ground” “Police, nothing, you son of a bitch.” These were the orders that the black civil police officer WVS, 39, received from a white military policeman around 12:45am the day before yesterday (8), in front of the police station where he works, in downtown São Paulo, while leading three suspects to the Police District.
The civil police officer registered a BO (police report) of bodily injury, injury and arbitrary violence. The PM ran away without being identified, but the number of the motorcycle he was using was noted, as well as his skin color. Based on this information, the Civil Police officiated the PM and the internal affairs department of the corporation, requesting the name of the police officer and measures to be taken.
According to WVS at BO, on Monday afternoon, he was in front of the 1st Deatur (Specialized Division of Tourist Assistance), where he works, when he saw three young men riding bicycles and suspected that they might be waiting for a victim to rob, in the Municipal Market region. He decided to approach them.
During the approach, according to the civil police, the youth said they didn’t have the documents, but one said he had been prosecuted for a crime against property. The agent decided to cross the street with them to the police station. There, he would consult the background of the three.
Already on the sidewalk of the police station, in front of the parking lot, military police appeared on four motorcycles of the corporation. Three of these PMs stopped. The fourth, on motorcycle number 07058/11, threw the front wheel against the right leg of the civil policeman, who shouted that he was a policeman – he used one hand to hold the suspect and the other to raise his police badge.
Also according to WVS, the PM got off the bike, pushed him, gave a “head shot” and a “head butt” using his PM helmet. The agent said he asked, “Can’t you see I’m a cop?” Even so, he heard the PM’s determination to lie on the ground.
“The other three military policemen who were on the other bikes too no action and didn’t even get off their bikes initially. One of them even shouted: ‘He’s a policeman, man, are you crazy'”, said the civil policeman. Subsequently, WVS’s police colleagues went to intercede for him.
According to the Civil Police, “when checking the arrival of other civil police officers from the police station, that PM’s attitude was to remove his identification card, obviously so that his name would not be noted, and then he climbed back on his motorcycle and practically ran away from the location. A few seconds later, the other three PMs also left the site”.
The suspects become witnesses
What the police officer WVS narrated was seen by the three young men who were being taken to the police station, at first as suspects. However, they ended up as witnesses against the PM at Deatur. In addition to them, a city official also testified in favor of the agent.
Delegate Marcos Paulo Cavalcante da Silva wrote a criticism of the military police officer in the report: “The regrettable conduct practiced against a civil police officer, in front of a police station, demonstrates how much good citizens are at the mercy of abuses by agents of the state”.
If a police officer, properly identified, in front of an official state unit, in the central region of São Paulo, was a victim of abuse, what can happen to a citizen approached in the city? At night? Without any witnesses?
Police chief Marcos Paulo Cavalcante da Silva
Rafael Alcadipani, professor of Public Management at FGV (Fundação Getúlio Vargas) and a member of the Brazilian Public Security Forum, said that “the case shows the institutional racism present in the São Paulo PM. The institution needs to recognize the problem and take steps to deal with it “.
Sought for comment, the PM’s press office reported that, “based on the police report, the Military Police launched an investigation to investigate the complaint accurately. The actions described, if proven, represent unacceptable conduct by the military police.”
By means of a note, the SSP (Secretariat of Public Security) stated that “the case is being investigated by the 1st Police District (Sé) and the 7th Metropolitan Military Police Battalion (BPM / M). The police station opened a police investigation and heard the victim, as well as witnesses.”
Still according to the department, “the battalion opened an investigation procedure and is working to identify the PMs involved in the action. The Civil and Military police are working to clarify all the circumstances related to the occurrence.”
In a follow-up to this story, it was revealed that the Military Police officer suspected of approaching and assaulting the 39-year-old WVS was identified and removed from operational service, according to the Public Security Secretariat (SSP). The suspended officer is white. The secretariat, however, did not reveal the PM’s identity.