The death of a black man beaten by white security guards in a supermarket sparked protests across Brazil on Friday as the country celebrated Black Consciousness Day.
Video of Thursday night’s incident in the southern city of Porto Alegre was captured on a witness’s cell phone and released to Brazilian social media and media.
After the clip went viral, around 1,000 protesters in São Paulo marched to a branch of the French supermarket chain Carrefour and, according to AFA photographers at the scene, stoned the storefront before taking it. assault, burning and burning goods on the scene. .
“Carrefour’s hands are dirty with black blood,” reads a banner held by the demonstrators.
Porto Alegre police used tear gas and flash bang grenades to start a demonstration, where the death occurred, according to local television.
Protests have also started in the capital Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro, where crowds have chosen the Carrefour supermarket to prevent customers from accessing the checkout.
“Carrefour can stop, he killed our brother, that won’t work!” Dozens of young people wearing banners and masks chanted the slogan “Black Lives Matter”.
A video on social media shows a 40-year-old welder, João Alberto Silvera Freitas, repeatedly punched in the face and head by a security guard as he is held together in a supermarket.
A woman stands next to him, filming from his cell phone.
Rio Grande do Sul state military police said the man threatened a worker in a supermarket, called security.
Silveira Freitas lost consciousness during the attack and died on the spot as medics tried to revive him.
‘I couldn’t breathe’
A friend of the victim who witnessed the beating told G1 News that as security officers beat him, Silvera Freitas shouted “he can’t breathe”, a scene reminiscent of George Floyd’s death , a black man suffocated under his knee. From a white American policeman in Minneapolis last May.
The murder sparked massive protests across America.
The two supermarket security guards were arrested. One of them was identified as a member of the military police who worked part-time in a supermarket.
In a statement, the Brazilian subsidiary of Carrefour ruled out the “brutal death” of Silveira Freitas and promised to take “the appropriate measures to apprehend those involved in this criminal case”.
Carrefour said it would cut ties with the security company that hired the guards.
In a series of Portuguese-language tweets, French Carrefour manager Alexander Brempard expressed his condolences and said the images posted on social media were “unacceptable”.
“Internal measures are immediately implemented by the Carrefour Brazil Group, mainly on the issue of company security contracts. These measures are insufficient. My values, and the values of Carrefour, do not allow racism and violence, ”he writes. Call. Complete review of employee training, diversity and intolerance.
The murder sparked outrage on social media and led to the release of Brazil’s Black Conscience Day in several states.
“From November 1 to 20, and every day, the racist structure of this country brings us cruelty in general,” social worker Rall Santiago said on Twitter.
“Looks like we have no way… not even Black Conscience Day,” said Brazilian international footballer Richardson.
The Everton player said on Twitter: “Really, what is Vivek? They killed a black man, beaten in front of the cameras. They beat him and filmed him. Defeat grace and shame with violence and hatred. ”
In Brazil, in 1888 – the last country in America to abolish slavery – about 55 percent of the 212 million people were identified as black or mixed race.
Brazilian far-right President Jair Bolonaro did not comment directly on the death on Friday night, but tweeted that the country’s problems are “beyond racial issues” and that Brazil’s “great evil” continues to be “Moral, social and political corruption”.
“As president, I am color blind: everyone is the same color. There is no single color. ” [of skin] Better than the others. There are good men and bad men, ”Bolsonaro said.
Bolsonaro’s vice-president Hamilton Mourao called the murder “regrettable”.
Mourao said he was “not ready for the job of security guard” and denied that it was a racist act.
“For me, in Brazil, there is no racism. It’s something they want to import here in Brazil. It doesn’t exist here, ”Mourao said.
Philosopher Zamila Ribeiro, one of the most influential voices in the fight against racism in Brazil, told AFP that “the naturalization and the justification for the death of blacks as a result of violence is present in political speeches , legal, commercial and media ”.
(This story is not edited by NDTV staff and automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)