Demonstrators in Brazil Protest Against Crimes Committed by Police

Hundreds of demonstrates converged on the square in front of the Rio de Janeiro state government palace Sunday, protesting crimes committed by the police against black people in the Brazilian city’s poor neighborhoods, known as favelas. Protesters chanted, “I can’t breathe! I can’t breathe!” in reference to George Floyd, the black man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota.    “We are here today because we want to live. We are here today because we are tired of this genocidal state. We are here to say no more, no more!” activist Santiago said.  Protesters were holding signs reading in Portuguese “Stop killing us” and “Favela asks for peace.”Military police fire the shotguns at demonstrators during a protest against crimes committed by the police against black people in the favelas, outside the Rio de Janeiro’s state government, Brazil, Sunday, May 31, 2020.As recently as May 18, a 14-year-old black boy was killed during a Federal Police operation in the Complexo Salgueiro favelas. The teenager, Joao Pedro Pinto, was at home with cousins when police broke into his house, allegedly pursuing drug traffickers, and shot him dead. The protest in Rio de Janeiro called “Black Lives Matter,” was interrupted when police used tear gas to disperse people.  In 2019 Rio’s police, one of the deadliest law enforcement units in Brazil, killed 1,546 people during police operations. That was the highest number since 1998 in the country, and most of the killings took place in favelas. 

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