Video shows Rio Military Police open fire in pursuit of car killing young woman; victim’s mother wants end to police impunity

Ironildo Motta da Silva and Sônia Vargas Motta, Haíssa’s parents, advocate an end to police impunity – photo: Tânia Rego/Agência Brasil
Ironildo Motta da Silva and Sônia Vargas Motta, Haíssa’s parents, advocate an end to police impunity – photo: Tânia Rego/Agência Brasil

Note from BW of Brazil: Sometimes we must really ask who are the criminals and who are those who are supposed to enforce the law. This is a follow up to a tragic, senseless story presented here back in August. In pursuit of a moving vehicle, a Military Police soldier opened fire on the vehicle in the middle of a public road! The shots led to the death of a 22-year old woman, a nursing student. Now I’m curious. What kind of police training gives instruction to fire on moving vehicles? On public streets??? Is this really life or is it imitation of one of the endless action, violence and murder films coming out of the US? A recently released patrol car video (bottom of article) shows how it actually happened! 

Mother of young woman killed by Rio Military Police requests an end to police impunity

By Jorge Wamburg

The mother of Haíssa Vargas Motta, killed during a Military Police (MP) stop last year, Sonia Vargas Motta said today (12) that the video of the police action confirms that her daughter was the victim of a crime and what is necessary to end police impunity that, taken off the streets continue working administratively. The video showing the action that resulted in the death of 22 year-old was released by the website of Veja magazine.

Haíssa Vargas Motta was killed last August in Rio after Military Police pursued the car she was in and opened fire
Haíssa Vargas Motta was killed last August in Rio after Military Police pursued the car she was in and opened fire

The Public Ministry (MP) of Rio de Janeiro announced today (12) that it would report police soldier Márcio José Watterlor for intentional homicide.

“They released our cry of pain with this video. If I committed a crime, I would be arrested, but he wasn’t. Our life stopped. We can’t work. The police shot first to ask questions later. It’s not possible that this continues to happen, I don’t want to believe that this had been the teaching that this citizen disobeyed. I refuse to believe that he has been trained to shoot and question later. The procedure was totally wrong. This only doubles and increases the pain,” she protested.

Haíssa’s father, Ironildo Motta da Silva, described the police action as mistaken and said that their action showed a lack of training and military posture. “It’s a total lack of preparation and caused us great pain. Today, we are reviewing everything, and it’s a second pain, even more unbearable. This video came to help us revive the crime, which until then had been forgotten. For five months, our government, our state, hasn’t pronounced itself on the case. And this video, in this sense, was a gift to us. Until then, my daughter was like an animal thrown in the trash, but my daughter is neither animal nor garbage. My daughter, a girl who was attending college, was treated like they treat bandits.”

In a meeting with businessmen in Rio, Governor Luiz Fernando Pezão lamented Haíssa’s death and said that his government is committed to better training of police officers. “I’m sure that we will greatly improve the training of our police, but it is a lengthy process.” Pezão said the death of the young woman was an error, the result of police malpractice. “It’s important to remember that it was the cameras that were in the police car, due to the technology we are deploying increasingly in the police apparatus, it was the cameras that detected the errors.”

In addition, the governor emphasized that the police training time in Rio de Janeiro is the same as elsewhere in the world: “[Training] is the same as there is everywhere. The period they go through, six to eight months, is the same anywhere in the world.”

Military Police of Rio open fire on a car, killing a student and still blame the victims

By Thiago De Araújo

Video captures pursuit and the shots taken
Video captures pursuit and the shots taken

For those who think that cases such as the bricklayer Amarildo Dias de Souza, killed by Military Police of Rio de Janeiro and whose body was never found, are exceptions, a new episode of savagery was denounced by Veja magazine last weekend. The result: a dead student and another death for MP stat sheet with a history of violence.

The report showed a video made at 5 in the morning of August 2, 2014. During just over four minutes the MPs Márcio José Watterlor Alves and Delviro Anderson Moreira Ferreira begin a chase in Nilópolis, in Rio’s Baixada Fluminense region. It all started because the car, HB20, is “that white car that’s stolen like hell,” said Delviro, alleging that the Hyundai model is one of the most stolen cars in Rio.

The vehicle with five people on board, soon became the target of MP Márcio José Watterlor Alves’s rifle shots. The video shows Watterlor raising his torso outside of the moving video and taking at least nine shots in 24 seconds. When the car stops, the university student Haíssa Vargas Motta, 22, had been shot. The friends, desperate, ask the police to help her. In spite of providing help, she died in the hospital.

“Why didn’t they not stop? C…, open window. No, it doesn’t justify taking a shot, okay? It doesn’t justify it,” says Delviro. The video also shows the victim’s friends enter the vehicle as police drive them to the hospital, while the victim followed in the HB20. In testimony, the young man who was driving the HB20 claimed that he didn’t stop because he thought the moped that was behind him was the target of the police. According to Veja magazine, in November last year the MP Márcio José was charged with intentional homicide (when there is intent to kill). It was the third auto de resistência (death by police intervention) in his four years in the corporation.

Extra newspaper experts condemned the police action. “Under no circumstances do the police take the first shot in a situation like this. Even if it was a criminal on the run, it is preferable to let them escape than shoot that way on a public road,” said the former National Secretary of Public Security, Colonel José Vicente da Silva Filho.

“This is the standard Baixada Fluminense approach. The national legal system has not yet reached the Baixada. The MP approach protocol was ignored in this case and they must answer for the crime,” the retired colonel of Rio MP, Paulo Cesar Lopes. While the PM internal affairs say it has opened an internal investigation into the case, the 58th Police District has already sent the civil investigation to the Courts.

It is the second controversial case in less than 15 days involving the PM of Rio. Last week, the State Department Security exonerated Colonel Fábio de Souza, then commander of the Shock Battalion, because of messages sent by him and other officers in which Souza incites violence against protesters and shows appreciation for Nazism.

Police violence is a public safety issue not only in Rio. According to the eighth Anuário Brasileiro de Segurança Pública do Fórum Brasileiro de Segurança (Brazilian Yearbook of Public Security of the Brazilian Security Forum), released last year, the police kill six people a day in Brazil, an alarming number. In five years, between 2009 and 2013 there were 11,197 deaths caused by lawmen. The American police, for example, took 30 years to kill 11,090 people, according to the yearbook.

Source: Agência Brasil, Brasil Post, Correio Braziliense

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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