Military Police Officer Seen with foot on Neck of Black Woman
Note from BW of Brazil: So…..What’s the excuse now? For years, residents of Brazil’s periphery neighborhoods have complained of excessive force used against them by agents of the state. We’ve heard of the brutality. We’ve heard of how police come into these neighborhoods shooting first and asking questions later. We’ve seen a long list of innocent victims who have been killed in the so-called ‘war on drugs’. We’ve also heard from countless nameless people who dispute police versions of actions that lead to the death of innocent victims; people who don’t want to identify themselves out of fear of police retaliation.
Nowadays, in an era in which everyone has access to video cameras via cell phones, the horrific actions by police are being incresingly captured as they happen. Three weeks ago, another image caught a cop kneeling on the chest of a delivery boy. With these incidents, often leading to fatalities, happening over and over again, for years, I have to ask, is this really a case of police not being trained correctly, or is there something else going on here?
Military Police officer seen with foot on neck of 51-year black woman; having dragged handcuffed victim across the ground, says he didn’t use excessive force
João Paulo Servato has been with the Military Police for eight years and passed the 2011 test among the lowest classifications; the battalion he is part of has already practiced other types of torture
By Juca Guimarães
The images of a Military Police officer stepping on the neck of a 51-year-old black woman, shown on Fantástico, a TV Globo news journal, caused repercussions and brought up the debate about police violence in the peripheries once again.
The case presented on national television this Sunday (12) happened on May 30, in the middle of the afternoon, in Parelheiros, a poor neighborhood in the extreme south of the city of São Paulo. The policeman who appears in the images is the soldier of the Military Police, João Paulo Servato, 34, of the 2nd company of the 50th Battalion, in Grajaú, also in the South region.
Servato is white, appears to be between 5’9″ and 5’11” in height and approximately 200 lbs. While the woman is on the ground, the policeman steps on her neck and lifts the other leg to increase the weight on the victim.
Eight years ago in the corporation, Servato’s approval in the police test came out in 2012. Among the 1,618 candidates who passed, Servato, who has completed high school, came in 889th place with a 0.75 grade in composition and 72 in the total.
On the day that he violently assaulted the black merchant, Servato was in the M-50211 vehicle with other MPs and went to answer an open bar complaint during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A researcher at the Brazilian Public Security Forum (FBSP), Dennis Pacheco, points out that no police officer is trained to use torture or lethal force against unarmed and surrendered citizens and that police abuse cases are the result of populist statements by the state governor, João Doria (PSDB).
“At the same time, the São Paulo police are a reference in terms of training in the country. This is also why the governor’s plan to retrain the entire staff is so critical. What exists is a contradiction between the legalism of the academy and the subculture of excessive use of force practiced on the streets, which is stimulated by populist speeches by the governor and then legalized by the judiciary that exonerates police officers using excessive force,” says Pacheco.
Former lieutenant colonel of the PM, Adilson Paes de Souza, retired and with 36 years of experience in the corporation, believes that the images of the police officer taking his foot off the ground to increase the weight of the pressure on the neck of the woman who was already immobilized characterizes a training failure.
“All the actions of a police officer are provided for in rules, regulations and procedures. What he does is not the behavior expected of a police officer. It indicates that they are not under constant training, as they should be. There is a flaw there,” considers Souza. The former lieutenant of the MP is the author of the book O Guardião da Cidade: Reflexões sobre casos de violência praticados por policiais militares (The Guardian of the City: Reflections on cases of violence practiced by military police officers) and the master’s dissertation “A educação em direitos humanos na Polícia Militar” (Education in human rights in the Military Police).
Police say aggression against the victim “was the necessary means”
According to reports recorded in the police report, on May 30 there was confusion and the police arrested the merchant and two customers of the bar. They were caught in the act for: bodily injury, contempt, resistance and disobedience.
The merchant didn’t give testimony because she was admitted to the hospital because of injuries to her body caused by three punches, one of them being low, and because she was dragged across the ground in handcuffs.
In the text of the bulletin, Servato states that hetook action against the merchant, however, he said nothing about the immobilization and about stepping on the victim’s neck, as shown in the images. In the report shown by Fantástico, the policeman said, by telephone, that “it was the necessary means” and didn’t admit the excessive use of violence.
On Twitter, after the report, Governor João Doria (PSDB) stated that the police were “removed and will respond to an inquiry”. Doria classified the scenes as “unacceptable”, which “cause disgust” and “don’t honor the quality of the MP in SP”.
In August 2017, a report from the R7 website, denounced assaults against two young men during a torture session inside the 50th Military Police Battalion, in Grajaú, the same battalion as Servato.
“The youths spent about 20 minutes in the battalion and, when they left, their ears were red. The two report that they were attacked by at least seven PMs ‘in the face, in the ear, in the chest, in the back’,” says an excerpt from the report. At the time, the Public Security Secretariat (SSP) informed that it would “investigate and take action”.
Source: Alma Preta