Posted November 21, 2020 9:28 am by

Protests in Brazil after security guards beat black man to death

Brasília, Brazil, Nov 21 – The death of a black man beaten by white security guards at a supermarket sparked protests across Brazil Friday as the country celebrated Black Consciousness Day.

A video of Thursday night’s incident in the southern city of Porto Alegre captured on a witness’s mobile phone was broadcast on social networks and Brazilian media.

As the clip went viral, around 1,000 protesters in Sao Paulo marched to a branch of the French-owned Carrefour supermarket chain and stoned the glass storefront before storming the premises, trashing and burning goods, according to an AFP photographer on the scene.

“Carrefour’s hands are dirty with black blood,” read one banner held up by demonstrators.

Police in Porto Alegre used tear gas and flash bang grenades to disperse a protest that had formed in front of the supermarket where the death occurred, according to local television.

Protests also broke out in the capital Brasilia, Belo Horizonte and Rio de Janeiro, where a crowd picketed a Carrefour supermarket to prevent customers from reaching the checkouts.

“Carrefour can close, it has killed our brother, it will not work!” chanted dozens of young people carrying banners and masks with the slogan “Black Lives Matter”.

Demonstrators start a fire at the entrance to the Carrefour supermarket where a black man was beaten to death by security guards on Brazil’s Black Consciousness Day, in Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, on November 20, 2020 © AFP / SILVIO AVILA

The video on social media shows 40-year-old welder Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas repeatedly being punched in the face and head by a security guard while he is being restrained by another at the supermarket.

A woman stands beside them, filming with her mobile phone.

The military police in Rio Grande do Sul state said the man had threatened a female worker at the supermarket, who called security.

Silveira Freitas lost consciousness during the assault and died on the spot as medics tried to revive him.

– ‘Could not breathe’ –

A friend of the victim who witnessed the beating told G1 news that as the security guards were hitting him, Silveira Freitas “screamed that he could not breathe,” a scene reminiscent of the death of George Floyd, a black man who suffocated beneath the knee of a white US police in Minneapolis last May.

That killing sparked massive protests across the United States.

Both the supermarket security guards were arrested. One of them was identified as a member of the military Read More…Protests in Brazil after security guards beat black man to death  Protests in Brazil after security guards beat black man to death  Protests in Brazil after security guards beat black man to death  Protests in Brazil after security guards beat black man to death