Two military police officers in Brazil will be prosecuted for being filmed with violent arrest of a black woman, including a police officer who was around her neck.
The officers, who were already fired after the Sao Paulo incident on May 30, are now subject to a criminal investigation, Governor João Doria has confirmed.
It is not clear what charges they will face, but the victim’s lawyer has summoned the officer standing on her neck to charge an attempted murder.
The case has hair-raising echoes of George Floyd, who was killed in a US police arrest after a cop knelt on his neck for nine minutes.
Two officers who violently arrested a group of people in Sao Paulo, Brazil in May are now charged with criminal charges, including a police officer who stood on the neck of a black woman (photo)
The woman, who is struggling with officers in the photo while arresting her girlfriend, said she passed out four times during the ordeal, also leaving a broken leg and needing 16 stitches
The incident in Brazil occurred after officers were called reports of loud music played outside a bar that would be closed during the pandemic.
Video shows the officers aiming a gun at a man while a second is shown in the curb and handcuffed while the woman, a 51-year-old owner of the bar, tries to talk to officers.
More footage then shows her lying with her hands cuffed behind her back as an officer places his foot on the back of her neck and then shifts his weight so that he stands on her.
The woman says she has been attacked by officers who hit and trip her, breaking one of her legs.
Her lawyer says she passed out four times during the ongoing attack.
Police records show that she was taken to hospital after the arrest with a broken tibia and cuts to her face and body that required 16 stitches.
The woman, a widow and mother of five, said she was trying to become a peacemaker between the police and her friend who was handcuffed.
“I asked the police officer to stop hitting him because he was already passed out, lying on the floor,” said the woman.
While it is not clear what charges the agents will face, the woman’s lawyer has called for the person who got on her neck to be charged with an attempted murder.
The officers initially tried to claim they had been mistreated with an iron bar and accused the group of contempt, disobedience, opposition to arrest and bodily harm.
While the video was released by the Brazilian TV channel G1 does not show the whole incident, but also no one threatening the officers.
At a news conference on Monday, Governor Doria said he was shocked by the police, whose behavior compromised the integrity of the law enforcement officers.
“I want to make it clear that the state of São Paulo does not tolerate any behavior and that it is violence that is exercised by the military police, civilian police, fire brigade or any other police commanded by the state of São Paulo,” said Doria.
“It is unacceptable for few to compromise with many. In other words, reprehensible actions by a few endanger an organization with more than 80,000 police officers doing their job well. ‘
On June 22, Doria introduced a 20-day training program to prevent the use of unnecessary violence against civilians by “one percent of bad police officers.”
As of August, at least 2,000 police officers will have body cameras.
The announcement was made in response to a series of incidents where the police were forcibly videotaped, including an incident in the São Paulo neighborhood of Carapicuíba on June 21, when a police officer choked a 19-year-old man.