Military Police shots kill young woman returning home from party in Rio; after car pursuit, at least 7 shots were fired

PM mata jovem que voltava de festa no Rio de Janeiro

Note from BW of Brazil: Is there any end in sight for this type of senseless police murder? Of course it is too soon to jump to conclusions on the case as there are two sides of the story: that of witnesses and that of the police involved. But with such a long history of brutality and total disregard for human life, I’m inclined to believe the story of the victim’s friends. If one were to simply pay attention t0 actions of Brazil’s Military Police, throughout the country, it would appear the black population and/or persons living in poor communities have a death warrant. In a previous article, university professor Dennis Oliveira points to documents to seem to prove that these types of brutal actions were already conjured up by a conservative think tank back in the 1980s. While you wrap your brain around that, keep in mind that last month, the Military Police involved in the atrocious shooting and dragging murder of Rio de Janeiro resident Cláudia Silva Ferreira earlier this year are already back to work.

The case captured on amateur video of Ferreira’s body being dragged on the ground from the back of a police vehicle shocked black women across the country provoking various displays of outrage, marches and protests. After brief imprisonment, officers Rodney Archanjo, Adir Machado and Alex Sandro Alves that were in the car that dragged Ferreira’s body, as well as Gustavo Meirelles, Ricardo Boaventura and Zaqueu Bueno who were not in car but participated in the police operation in the area, all returned to work although not on the street, but on internal assignments. All will remain employed while the investigation continues. Another interesting note to keep in mind is that Machado and Archanjo are responsible for 16 homicides between the two of them, with Machado alone being responsible for 13 of them. Just another example of the “wild, wild west” style of policing that is a regular part of police tactics in Brazil. With that in mind and the several cases highlighted on this blog, one can only hope for some sort of justice. 

Military Police shots kill young woman returning home from party in Rio; after pursuit, at least 7 shots were fired

“They shot to kill”, says friend who also with victim during a police blitz

Courtesy of G1 and R7

Raissa Vargas Motta, 22, was shot and killed by Military Police on Saturday, August 2nd
Raissa Vargas Motta, 22, was shot and killed by Military Police on Saturday, August 2nd

The command of the 41st Battalion (Irajá) opened an inquiry to determine the circumstances surrounding the death of Raissa Vargas Motta, 22, early Saturday (2) in Nilópolis (state of Rio de Janeiro). The young woman had been shot during a police chase, according to investigators. According to the Military Police (PM), the weapons of the officers involved in the episode were seized and are with the Civil Police. The site has been preserved for a crime scene investigation.


The young woman was in a car with four other friends returning from a party when cars using bright headlights approached the car in which they were riding. According to witnesses, they thought they were being assaulted as the MPs pulled up shooting. “Simply two cars came up behind us. In the first moment, I couldn’t identify that they were police. And already they came up and started shooting at us.” The PMs shot seven times at the car with at least four hitting the car. One of the bullets entered through the trunk of the car, penetrating the sound speakers and striking the victim, who sat in the backseat, in the back.

“We weren’t doing anything wrong. We’re not criminals. We’re not," says victim's friend and witness
“We weren’t doing anything wrong. We’re not criminals. We’re not,” says victim’s friend and witness

Relatives and friends of Raissa Vargas Motta, 22, killed during a police approach in Nilópolis in Baixada Fluminense, on Saturday (2) demand an explanation from the authorities. As showed on Bom Dia Rio Tuesday (5), the police said the driver of the car in which she was riding didn’t comply with a request to stop and there was a pursuit. However, friends of the young woman contest this version, saying that the police fired without any notice or request for investigation.

“They didn’t signal anything, they didn’t blink their headlights, they didn’t make any noise. They just appeared and targeted us. They shot to kill. They didn’t warn us, get our attention. How do the police shoot more than 10 times with rifle on top of a car without knowing who they are?”, questioned the friend, who declined to be identified.

Another friend, who was at Raíssa’s side when the shooting happened, said she came to be rescued, but died in hospital.

“When I saw that she was hit, the police did nothing at first. Seeing her bleeding, saying that she had been shot … It was horrible. If they say they want to protect lives, they aren’t protecting any lives, they’re destroying lives,” she exclaimed.

The victim's parents, Sonia and Ironildo Motta, have agonized over their daughter's death since Saturday
The victim’s parents, Sonia and Ironildo Motta, have agonized over their daughter’s death since Saturday

The parents’ pain has lasted three full days. Raíssa, a nursing student, was killed while returning home after a party over the weekend. Her father, Ironildo Motta, asked about the punishment of the police who committed crimes on police approaches that end up free. “Will she be one of the statistics? Will it be another [time] that these officers will not be punished?”

Open inquiry

The Military Police opened an inquiry to investigate the case. The four police officers involved were removed from the streets and the weapons used were collected and submitted for examination. The Civil Police is also investigating the death. Witnesses have testified at the station, and investigators requested security camera images taken the police car as well as a gasoline station near the crime scene.

Source: G1, R7, Globo, G1 (2)

About Marques Travae 3747 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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