Violence erupts in Brazil after Black man beaten to death at Carrefour store

by 24BRASILTVNov. 22, 2020, 2 a.m. 34

Dozens of demonstrators vandalised a Carrefour Brasil supermarket in Sao Paulo on Friday (November 20) after security guards beat to death a Black man at a store in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre. Dozens of protesters smashed the front windows of the Carrefour store with rocks, pulled off the front doors and stormed the building, spilling products into the aisles before dispersing. Similar protests also took place at the Carrefour Brasil supermarket in Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro on Friday. The killing, occurred late on Thursday (November 19) when a store employee called security after the man threatened to attack her, cable news channel GloboNews said, citing the Rio Grande do Sul state military police. Amateur footage of the fatal beating and tributes to the Black victim were published on social media. He was identified in local media by his father as 40-year-old Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas. News website G1 later reported that an initial analysis by the state forensics institute indicated the cause of death could be asphyxiation. In a statement on Friday, the local unit of France's Carrefour SA said it deeply regretted what it called a brutal death and said it immediately took steps to ensure those responsible were legally punished. It said it would terminate the contract with the security firm, fire the employee in charge of the store at the time of the incident, and close the store as a mark of respect. Nov. 20 is honoured in many parts of Brazil as Black Awareness Day. Brazilians like to think of their country as a harmonious 'racial democracy' and far-right President Jair Bolsonaro denies the presence of racism. But the influence of slavery, abolished in 1899, is still evident. Black Brazilians are almost three times as likely to be victims of homicide, according to 2019 government data. (Production: Leonardo Benassatto)

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