Note from BW of Brazil: This type of story is exactly what the so-called “rolezinhos (flash mobs)” are all about. It seems that everywhere they go, a young person of African descent is told by society that they don’t belong there. They are victimized where they’re in middle-upper class areas because they are “out of place”, but also in the poorer areas where they often reside because the area is associated with crime and drug trafficking. Just another day in the life of an Afro-Brazilian.
“He may have suffered prejudice,” says mother of youth assaulted in store in Barra da Tijuca
by Rafael Nascimento; Photos: Bruno Gonzalez/Extra
The 15 year old who recently accused two security guards of having beaten him in Lojas Americanas in Barra Shopping mall, went to the Instituto Médico-Legal (IML or Medical-Legal Institute) at about 11.45 am on Tuesday, for a forensic body examination. The young man’s mother said that until now she couldn’t understand why there was such a violent reaction. For her, the guards were prejudiced.
“The only plausible reason I find is discrimination. It was all uncalled for. My son was wearing a shirt from the public network, besides the fact that he is pardo (brown). This was the only way to understand the story, since, in fact, none of the security guards caught him in any wrongdoing. This fact was proven when they found that there was nothing inside his backpack,” she sighs.
Margarida Cardoso da Silva, left, accompanied the minor to the police station. According to her, there were no store products in his backpack Photo: Fernanda Dias / Extra
The young man, who still complains of pain due to the assaults, especially in the jaw, where he took a punch, said remembering the humiliation e suffered is as bad as the marks left by the attackers.
“I didn’t steal anything. I was very embarrassed with this horrible situation. I got punched, I was hung and even insulted,” he says, timidly, showing the bruises on his arm.
The victim’s mother experienced a sleepless night. According to her, she could not sleep seeing her child waking up repeatedly scared:
“It was an agitated night, she says still claiming to believe that the store is also responsible. “They need to hire people who treat customers better,” she added angrily.
The victim’s mother said she will take the case to the last step.
“It doesn’t matter how, I want them to be punished for what they did to my son. Justice needs to be done,” she said adding that said she wants this to set an their example to encourage other mothers not to leave this kind of situation unpunished. “I want him to pay for what he did, to set an example so that this does not happen anymore.”
On Monday, the student filed a complaint at the 16th Precinct at Barra da Tijuca. On the occasion, 15 customers that witnessed the event went along with the couple to the police station. According to the boy’s lawyer, Sérgio Baalbaki, the case was recorded as a mild injury. The registry can be changed if the injuries are more serious.