Top headline: "The Governor shows that he cares about victims!" The Folha reports that a young woman shot in the police standoff with a kidnapper is in critical condition -- a miraculous improvement from her violent death, which was what the Folha originally reported her condition was.
The Folha de S. Paulo‘s Painel column comments today on the story all the afternoon Sambodian tabloids yesterday headlined “Cops v. Cops” — the astonishingly violent clash between striking state judicial police and the Shock Battalion of the state military police.
On which see also
During the fracas, a state military police colonel was reportedly shot in the abdomen with a 9mm full metal jacket, but this incident (if it actually occurred) has been minimized to the point of nonexistence. (SPTV ran a brief, brief segment on it, but reported that the slug was a .40 or .45 revolver round. Which? According to the PM.)
Media attention has focused intensely instead on the violent conclusion to a siege situation in which an angry young man (a mano) holed up for 100 hours in a public housing project with two hostages.
At one point, the police negotiators obtained the release of one hostage, but wound up returning her to captivity. To the puzzlement of all and sundry.
All the TV networks staked out the location and provided blanket coverage. When the police stormed the apartment, TV (we saw it on the would-be Globo-killer, Record News) reveled pornographically in the bloodbath that ensued. “Look, you can see the blood coming out of her mouth! Show that again, Alfredo! Again! Again! Again! Look at that! Blood!’ I am not exaggerating. Not one iota.
Pretty typical of Sambodian TV news. The Folha de S. Paulo was initially reporting (screaming) that one of the hostages died, which turned out not to be true. This was the fault of the Folha‘s sources, not the Folha‘s reporting, the Folha argued. Also typical. If an official source says it is, it is not OUR job to go check it out.
The military policemen of GATE — the elite of the elite — shown making the arrest are shown ganging up on and beating the snot out of the suspect like a mob of Glasgow soccer hooligans. The suspect is shown arriving at the police station with signs that he has received further beatings in transit. The corpus delecti medical examination will undoubtedly show no signs of physical injury while in custody, and no one will really care. Also typical. A scene straight out of A Clockwork Orange.
The media, camped out with their telephoto lenses, screaming for a real-life come-shot of blood and vengeance. The police obliging them. A specimen Sambodian scene.
Top headline in the Folha Online today, with a “Hindenburg explodes!” degree of emphasis (above): “Governor Serra visits siege victims in hospital.” The focus shifts notably from an embarrassing incident to a putative success story that to the outsider looks more like a case of televised street justice straight out of the original Robocop.
Striking photograph of the Thursday incident: A striking policeman jumping up on a car to plead for calm. He is wearing a T-shirt that reads “PSDB – Pior Salário do Brasil” (“worst salary in Brazil”), in reference to the political party of the sitting government, Mr. Serra.
The reference is to the fact that the salary for senior career police officers with college degrees (delegados) in São Paulo is R$3,700 a month, the lowest in Brazil, compared with R$8,500 in Brasilia, the fifth-highest among Brazilian state police forces.
Experienced Rio military police privates make R$874 (US$ 400) a month, or about 2 minimum salaries. São Paulo salary for privates: R$1,240 (US$570), I read, or around 3 minimum salaries.
Rookie officers in New York city make $36,000, or roughly 3.6 minimum salaries, after obtaining an increase from the city government in May of this year, reversing a drastic cut to $25,000 in 2007. The result was obtained through a ruling from a state arbitration panel, without a strike.
When I call 911, I would rather have a $36,000 cop, who can afford to live decently on what he earns, answer the call than a $25,000 one, who might not be able to. Who goes to college to earn $25,000 a year to start? You? And I want a college-educated mind controlling that trigger finger.
Em privado, até mesmo aliados de José Serra identificam pelo menos dois erros cometidos pelo governo paulista na paralisação da Polícia Civil, que anteontem resultou em confronto dos grevistas com a PM em frente ao Palácio dos Bandeirantes.
In private, even allies of Governor Serra have identified at least two errors committed by the state government during the work stoppage by the Policia Civil, which the day before yesterday resulted in a clash between strikers and the PM in front of the Bandeirantes Palace.
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