I read it in the Diário do Grande ABC.
Jiu-jitsu instructor Alex Sandro do Nascimento, 41, was killed on Thursday evening with three bullets from a submachine gun of agents of Garra, the special anti-robbery group in Cambuci, in downtown São Paulo. Police say that Nascimento — who had no criminal record — was armed and attempted to fire on them as they approached him. Family members and friends say he was murdered.
Police captain Mario Palumbo Júnior and detectives José Augusto de Novaes Neto and José Marcelo Sposito said they received a tip that drugs were being sold in an abandoned high-rise on Muniz de Souza Street. On the scene, they approached local residents and then allegedly heard gunfire. As the delegado and one of the detectives were checking on what had happened, Novaes Neto was interacting with three persons of interest.
According to the official version, two of these persons fled, and the jiu-jítsu instructor pulled out a .32 pistol and pulled the trigger, but the gun failed to fire. Nascimento was struck with three rounds fired by the detective. Police say he received first aid and was taken to the hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival. A doctor found 52 vials of crack on his person, according to Garra officers.
The victim’s family are outraged. They say that Nascimento was killed by police after being treated with violence. He taught at two gyms, was separated from his wife, and had two daughters, ages 10 and 13. On the night he was killed, he had gone to the front gate to receive a pizza. A teenage boy with whom he was conversing at the moment police approached him could be a key witness in the case, but no one knows where he is.
The victim was described by friends and neighbors as a strong role model for at-risk youth in the shantytowns and vertical slums.
Questioned about the incident in Brasília, Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) said that if the killing was an execution, the police involved would receive «zero tolerance». Jorge Carrasco, director of the homicide bureau (DHPP), which is investigating the case, said he believes the police in this case, however. “I assume they are telling the truth. If not, they will be drummed out of the service.».
At most, they will lose their jobs?
I wish I and my friends and neighbors could be so confident. As I mentioned recently, military police killed one of our neighbors in late July, right here on Avenue of the Owls, in an incident reminiscent of the Amadou Diallo case — police allegedly mistook a cell phone for a weapon.
In our case, however, there is no daily press conference by Sharpton on the sidewalks of One Police Plaza. Incidents fade quickly from the memory of the local press.
As I mentioned before, 30 of 31 São Paulo sub-prefectures are currently led by retired and reserve military police commanders — the state and municipal governments are politically tied to public safety agencies over which they apparently cannot or will not exercise control.
The most serious obstacle to public accountantability is maintaining the paramilitary legal status of the military police, who, as Barcellos described back in the 1990s, are judged by military tribunals comprising superior officers who are often themselves involved in death squad activities, past or present.
This case has the very same profile as the cases recounted in Caco Barcellos, Rota 66 (1993) — such as the planting of weapons and contraband and the disturbance of crime scenes in order to muddy the forensic waters, in the name of “rendering aid” to massively overkilled corpses.