One black lawyer handcuffed in court, another shot at point blank range, both at the hands of government policing agents; Adilson Moreira explains why blacks get no respect, regardless of status



Note from BW of Brazil: What’s going on here? Two blacks lawyers were the targets of policing agent actions just a few days apart from each other. In two more clear examples that show Malcolm X’s analysis more than 50 years ago still holds true in 21st century Brazil. ‘What do you call a black man (or woman) with a Ph.D? A nigger,” Malcolm said in response to his own question. Well, in these two recent cases, neither lawyer was actually called a “nigger”, nor were they called “negão” or”negrinha” as would be common in Brazil, but the treatment these two received was basically the equivalent of hurling a racial insult or keeping a successful black “in their place”. The fact is that, whether of upper, middle or lower class status in Brazil, it doesn’t matter, for skin color trumps whatever credential one may have. I mean, how many times do we have to see examples of this? We could cite Flavio Sant’ana, the black dentist who was shot and killed in 2004. How about lawyer and former government official, Josefina Serra dos Santos, who was frisked, insulted and had a gun pointed at her by Military Police in the Federal District. Or maybe the governor’s daughter who was physically assaulted because people thought she had to be maid and thus taken the maid’s elevator in a ritzy apartment building. The fact is that, in Brazil, black people, regardless of their credentials, are still treated as 21 century slaves. How else would you explain the three incidents described below happening to three black Brazilians who, as lawyers, should receive some of the highest levels of respect? Adilson J. Moreira breaks it down.

Adilson J. Moreira
Adilson J. Moreira

Adilson J. Moreira explains why discussing gender and race in the case of the lawyer detained during the hearing

By Gabriel Prado

On Monday, September 11th, Valéria dos Santos, a black and carioca (native of Rio) lawyer, was holding a hearing at the 3rd Special Civil Court of Duque de Caxias, in the Baixada Fluminense region of Rio, when she was detained after demanding a reading of the contestation of the lawsuit.

Valéria dos Santos was handcuffed in court while she defended her client

Under the order of the lay judge and the passivity of other colleagues, Valéria was handcuffed and dragged out of the courtroom without her client’s defense being appreciated.

Professor Adilson José Moreira, Ph.D. in Comparative Constitutional Law from Harvard Law School, explained to Justificando that “this judge’s role in calling a police officer to deal with black women is the specific and common type of how white people treat black people, that is, the treatment that the black person must always have is a police case.”

Amid the assault, the lawyers and authorities present witnessed the violation of at least six prerogatives of Valéria as an OAB (Brazilian Lawyer’s Guild) lawyer. Constituted so that the free exercise of the profession is not prohibited by the interests of the parties or the present court, as pointed out in a note of the National, Sectional and Subsectional Commissions for Defense of Prerogatives and Valuation of Advocacy of the Brazilian Lawyer’s Guild.

The use of handcuffs, as was done with Valéria, according to binding precedent n. 11 of the STF, is only permissible in case of resistance and of well-founded fear of flight or of danger to one’s own or others’ physical integrity Since lawyers can not be arrested in the exercise of their profession, except in the event of an unaffordable crime (art. 7, par. 3 of Law 8.906/94).

No imprisonment of a lawyer during the exercise of the profession can be done without the presence of representative of the OAB (art. 7, IV, of Law 8.906/94). Moments before being arrested, Valéria requested the presence of the lawyer of the Guild.

“I have already called [the OAB delegate]. I went to call. Has some colleague called? You are such my friends, such colleagues of profession that you didn’t call. You all remained silent. You all remained silent. You didn’t call anyone. I had to leave myself. I’m alone! You are not a friend. If you were a colleague, you would be the first to call the delegate. You didn’t call,” said Valeria before being detained.

“What is there in this very clear case is a police officer who is directed to a professional who is acting as a defender of a client being unmerited and mistreated, implying that she doesn’t have the capacity to act and operate as an agent within that social space that is a space of the white man,” analyzed Professor Adilson Moreira.

The president of the Brazilian Institute of Lawyers stated that “the inexplicable illegal use of handcuffs confirms the tendency of class criminalization, with intensifying attitudes of devaluation and disqualification of lawyers.” In addition to the violation of prerogatives of lawyers, “the act also suggests discrimination of gender and race,” he said.

Spatial rationalization

Just a few days before the situation involving dos Santos, Renato Almeida Freitas Jr., a black lawyer, criminalist, activist and candidate of the PT for state deputy in Paraná, was hit by rubber bullets at point-blank range by the Metropolitan Guard of Curitiba while leafletting in the Praça do Gaúcho, in Curitiba, Paraná.

Renato Almeida Freitas Jr. was hit at point-range with rubber bullets while he passed out flyers

After a violent police approach witnessed by visitors of the square, Renato was taken by car to the Hospital of Cajuru and then sent to the 1st District. The lawyer was a speaker at the 24th International Seminar on Criminal Sciences of the Brazilian Institute of Criminal Sciences (IBCCRIM), where he dealt with racism and the criminal justice system.

“In both cases the state is saying to the black person that you don’t have the right to formulate demands and to be in a place occupied by white people,” concludes Professor Adilson Moreira adding that “There is a two-way racialization, both of the place that the individual must occupy within the social scale and as the places in which the individual can operate as a social agent.”

Flávio César Damasco
Security camera catches Flávio César Damasco being impeded by a security guard

Two years earlier, black lawyer Flávio César Damasco was harassed, handcuffed and taken to a police station trying to enter the Regional Labor Court, TRT of the 2nd Region, in downtown of São Paulo. He waited for the elevator when he was approached by a shouting security guard that said he couldn’t use the private elevator.

At the other elevator, he was asked if he was a lawyer and asked to hand over his wallet Lawyers Guild. Finding the hostile treatment within a forum that is publicly accessible to any citizen, he told the security guard that he would only identify himself if he asked politely. More security guards were called and he was handcuffed and taken to a police station.

Source: Justificando

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


  1. Wow. These stories are crazy and they go to show no matter how educated or professional Black people are, they still live under White Supremacy.

    • They doing these things in desperation become the the devil’s time is up to reign on earth. Give the earth back to it’s people. It our time and they all know it and fear it.

    • I agree with the last comment made that Father God is fed up with this garbage of how his children are being treated. The world has been taught by satan to hate and despise black people. Why? Because the Bible records the enslavement of the original Jews in Egypt which we later find were shipped to America, Brazil and other counties. Many whites are coming to this realization who study the factual history and follow it up with DNA Testing. We are the Original Prophetic Children the Father grieved over so much from Genesis to Revelation. One of the descriptions of this race of people is that they will be numbered like the sands of the sea and who would be despised by their captors. Who else fits the bill but us.
      There is a true story on youtube in which as racist KKK’s son dies while in hospital and has a Heaven experience, comes back to life only to tell his father and many others that Jesus is black and so are many angels in heaven. This is why the devil knows his time is short and the earth will return to a just place with the new Heaven. This cannot be stopped. Another white man who died or rather was taken by Jesus to see Hell, very clearly details a special place in Hell for the racists who hated people for their skin color. It was dreadful and eternal. So those racists who keep up this damnable game and who have the awareness of a conscious mind so that they know what they are doing will suffer the judgement of the Almighty God. “Vengeance is mine saith the Lord.”

  2. Brazilians are the last to abolish slavery….says a lot about them. I question their humanity and civilization. Funnily they are not even white for the most part.

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