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Note from BW of Brazil: Incredible story. Better, an incredibly sad story! Today we bring you yet another outrageous report that broke last week. But as in previous posts in which it’s necessary to ascertain certain details about the incident, it was better to wait a few days as more information became available. And, as it turns out, this was a good idea! As the facts continue to come out, any one who reads this story will have a number of questions to ask him or herself. However you side on this story, this story contributes to a topic that is all too frequent in Brazilian society: the murder of black youth! As a recent report found, every 23 minutes, a black youth is murdered in Brazil. A ten-year old Ítalo Ferreira de Jesus Siqueira is the latest to become a part of this unfortunate statistic that we have called genocide since the beginning!
Below are details of the story. As you come to your own conclusion, BW of Brazil will chime in with comments later on in this report.
Mother of 10 year old boy killed by Military Police says that he couldn’t drive
Courtesy of GGN
Ítalo Ferreira de Jesus Siqueira, 10, was killed on the night of Thursday (2) during a police action in the South Zone of São Paulo. According to police, he stole a car with a colleague in a luxury condominium, and was killed after shooting at police during pursuit. His mother, Cíntia Ferreira Francelino, questions the police version, saying that he didn’t know how to shoot much less drive a car.
In the police report registered at the police station, the 11-year-old boy who was with Ítalo confirms the version stating that Ítalo had a firearm, and invited to rob a building in (the neighborhood of) Campo Limpo. Security camera images show the chase and the occupants of the car were approached before leaving the vehicle.
Residents of Morro do Piolho, where Ítalo lived, say that he was not armed and doubt the official version. “How does a child of ten years jump a condo wall and come out with a luxury car? How does a ten year old exchange gunfire with police. He had no weapon. Not even a toy gun,” said a friend of the victim.
‘Why did they do this to him?’ says mother of boy killed by the MP in SP
Ítalo Siqueira, 10, lived in a south zone community of SP. Military Police says he and another minor stole a car and exchanged gunfire.
Courtesy of G1
The mother of Ítalo Ferreira de Siqueira Jesus, 10, cried after arriving at the Forensic Institute to recognize the body of the boy killed by the Military Police with a shot in the head in an alleged confrontation. The MP says he and another boy, 11, stole a car and fired after reacting to a chase.
“My God, Ítalo just wanted to sing, his thing was singing. He just wanted attention, my God, why did they do this to him, mister, help me. Help me for God’s sake, people. Help me mister, for the love of God, puts these police in jail, help me. Look people, for God’s sake, my son is only 10 years old,” said Cintia Ferreira Francelino, 29, Ítalo’s mother.
“Today every kid wants to be a funkeiro (funk singer). He wanted to sing, he wanted to be a happy child, they took away the happiness of my son. He wanted to sing, MC Ítalo.”
The mother doesn’t believe that her son had the gun. “I need to help my son, he is a 10 year old child, he would not know how to shoot, it’s a 38. (It was) they that put (it there), I’m sure they put (it there). The gun is of the police, I want to fingerprints taken,” Cintia said.
Ítalo’s mother says he lived with his grandmother. Neighbors said he lived with an aunt. “I spend some time traveling, he stayed with his grandmother. So he stayed in the street. He couldn’t even drive, he’s 10 years old, he has no way of knowing how to drive,” said the mother.
On the evening of Thursday (2), Ítalo was shot and died. He was suspected of breaking into a condominium in the south of the city and stealing a car. An 11 year old boy who was inside the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of participating in the robbery and shooting.
In the mother’s presence, at the State Department of Homicides and Protection of Persons (DHPP), the friend of Ítalo said the boy shot in the direction of the police. In the police report (BO) registered at the police station, the boy said he was approached by Ítalo, who had a firearm, and invited him to rob a building in Campo Limpo, where people lived “with possessions”.
Images from security cameras obtained by SPTV show the police chase of a stolen car. The vehicle loses control, and the police approach the occupants.
Death shocked community
Residents of Morro do Piolho in the south zone of São Paulo, told G1 that Ítalo was unarmed. In the police report it was registered as “homicide due to opposition to military intervention.”
“They had no money to eat, how were they going to buy a gun?” said one resident, who prefers to remain anonymous.
10-year old boy dies after stealing a car
According to community residents, Ítalo lived with an aunt. Sought by the report team, she declined to be interviewed because she said she was very upset. The family provided a photo of the boy.
Neighbors report that Ítalo shined shoes to make money. A boy who shined with him says that they worked in places like Congonhas Airport and Avenida Luís Carlos Berrini (avenue). “He was a boy of the moment, he played ball with us, he would never do that.”
Ítalo enjoyed flying kites and playing video games in an Internet cafe. “He was a quiet kid, playful. He was a good person. He was never involved in crime. He lived with his aunt,” said the mechanic Roberto Pereira dos Santos.
According to residents, on Thursday (2), Ítalo was playing with fireworks. Then a neighbor gave him food. “He was at my house yesterday, I took a plate of food to him. At no time did he say he was going to steal. I even gave him advice: ‘Take care, bro’,” said the neighbor.
In the community, reports say that he was known for committing thefts with another child outside the community. In condominiums, he stole objects that were in sight, such as bicycles. But residents insist that he was not violent.
“How does a child of ten years jump a condo wall and come out with a luxury car? How will a ten year old child exchange gunfire with police. He had no weapon. Not even a toy gun,” says a friend of victim.
“He didn’t know how to mess around with a gun. He’s a kid who was always going after his goals. Work that every child does. What they did was a fatality,” said a neighbor.
According to Bom Dia SP (news), the version of the Military Police to explain what happened is that they were patrolling the José Ramon Urtiza street in (the neighborhood of) Vila Andrade, around 7pm, when they saw a stolen vehicle occupied by two people.
According to the police, during the pursuit of the stolen vehicle by the MP truck, one of the boys who was driving the vehicle lost control and hit a bus. Then the police said they took shots from the minor when they went to approach the stolen car. In retaliation, the 10-year-old boy was struck and died.
The 11-year-old boy ended up apprehended and detained. Police said he was carrying a gun.
The case was registered in the 89th Police District in Portal do Morumbi, but eventually taken to the State Department of Homicides and Protection of Persons (DHPP) because it involves police.
According to Civil Police interviewed by Bom Dia São Paulo, the 11-year-old confessed that he and Ítalo knew each other and planned to rob a building, but gave up after seeing a car with an open window. So they decided to steal the car.
Police also said the boy admitted that he and his colleague fired at the police.
As he is a minor, the 11-year-old was released from the DHPP in the company of his mother. The minimum age for admission to the Fundação Casa is 12 years. The Foundation applies educational measures for juvenile offenders.
Without recording an interview, the mother of 11-year-old told the news crew she can’t control her son. The woman already had a criminal record with police. The boy’s father is imprisoned. The owner of the stolen vehicle was located by police.
New version of the story
Courtesy of Camaçari Notícias
After having previously admitting that Ítalo had shot at the police, the 11-year accomplice later affirmed that neither he nor Ítalo were armed and that the .38 caliber weapon attributed to his friend was “planted” by Military Police to justify their actions.
This new version, the third given by the boy, was presented in a statement to MP internal affairs on Sunday (5). In the first statement, the 11-year-old boy confirmed the police’s version. A recording was made with the boy talking about it. Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) said the video “appears to be spontaneous.”
In the second statement to the Civil Police, hours after the first, the boy told another version. He said all the shots had been taken by Ítalo during the chase – and no more after the vehicle stopped after the crash. Now, he says he took no shoots and told the story of the gun under the orientation of MPs – and that he obeyed due to fear. The statement was accompanied by the boy’s mother and a psychologist.
“With this version, evidence of summary execution committed by MPs get stronger. A 10 year old would not be able to drive a vehicle, having a gun in his hand while opening and closing the window to take shots,” said attorney Ariel de Castro, member of Condepe (State Human Rights Council).
New images detail action of Military Police which resulted in the death of 10 year old
Courtesy of UOL
The SBT Brasil news journal revealed on Tuesday (14), exclusively, new images of São Paulo Military Police action that resulted in Ítalo’s death.
Street camera images, in the south of the state capital, help to clarify how the Military Police acted to identify and pursue a car stolen by Ítalo and an 11-year old colleague on the night of June 2nd.
In one of the pictures you can see a MP truck trying to interdict a street and a Military Police soldier getting out with a gun in hand, and almost being hit by the stolen car. Following appears another Military Police soldier on a motorcycle; it was his gun that took the shot that killed Ítalo, as a result of the ballistic examination report confirmed by SSP-SP (Public Security Bureau of Sao Paulo).
In a statement, the Military Police state that they gave an order to stop, but the two boys sped up in the black Daihatsu and fled. They claim that Ítalo shot twice while driving, and shot once again when he realized he was surrounded.
Two Military Police admitted that they shot during the chase and that Ítalo was already injured when he crashed the car. During the police chase, Ítalo lost control of the car and crashed into a bus and a truck.
In images divulged by SBT Brasil you can also see the exact moment in which Ítalo was removed from the car, through the driver’s door. He is pulled out by an MP and then immobilized.
The report also shows the testimony of a witness who says he heard shooting after the car driven by the boy was struck. This statement contradicts the testimony of the Military Police to investigators of the case.
Only four of the six Military Police soldiers involved in the case have been heard by the Civil Police. The main question for researchers is whether Ítalo really was in possession of a weapon or if it was planted by the Military Police to justify their action.
The SSP-SP said that will only issue a statement after viewing the report from SBT Brasil.
The officers involved in the occurrence will, starting Monday (13), fulfill administrative work in MP internal affairs. The police will perform from Monday to Friday at the organ’s headquarters in Luz region (downtown), where they will be in a room uniformed, but unarmed and without cell phones from 9am to 6pm, under constantly surveillance.
Note from BW of Brazil: So once again we have a situation in which an apparent crime ends with the death of a young black boy at the hands of the Military Police. This blog has already stated its position on this type of controversy in various past posts. That position is quite simple. No one condones any sort of crime, but before anyone points the finger at what they perceive to be a “criminal element” that got “what he deserved”, I will again ask, who is it that is responsible for the social/racial inequalities that are at the root of any crime? Who created the conditions for which a 10-year had to shine shoes to earn spare change in the first place? As this writer has already questioned the “pass” that Brazilian elites are regularly rewarded, I won’t go any further with that. So here’s my take…
10-year Ítalo made a grave error when he decided to steal a car. That is a fact. And in a world in which children acquire certain types of knowledge years ahead of their time, I can’t really accept the opinions of neighbors that he couldn’t have stolen a car. I mean, it’s not something that it totally impossible. And as much as a mother would like to, she doesn’t always know what her child is capable of doing. All of know cases in which a child comes across as a complete angel with certain people but acts quite devilish in the company of others. I am NOT saying that this is definitely the case here, just pointing out the possibility. In this case, it seems pretty clear that Ítalo did in fact steal the car. With that out of the way, we have to deal with a number of other details.
Number one. The police seem to be claiming that a 10-year child had the capacity to drive a car and aim a weapon and shoot at the same time, which I find a bit far fetched. Not impossible, but not necessarily believable. Two, on the other hand, it is quite believable that police took shots at the car in which Ítalo was driving. Three, if Ítalo didn’t actually have a gun and thus couldn’t have shot at the police, what justification would they have in shooting a 10-year old boy? Once the car stopped, it would seem that so many officers who were on the scene would have seen that it was two kids in the car. Four, Ítalo’s partner first said that his friend did have a gun and did fire shots at the police but then retracted this version of the story saying that he felt intimidated into issuing this statement by police. As we’ve seen in numerous other cases involving police violence and the practice of framing suspects, this also sounds very believable.
So where do you stand? If we assume that Ítalo did in fact have a gun and did shoot at the police, were the actions of the police in killing him justified? What about if he didn’t in fact have a gun? In this case, a child stole a car but posed no dangerous threat to a group of six Military Police soldiers. Would they still be justified in their ‘shoot to kill’ mentality? For me, if it is true that Ítalo had no weapon and thus could not have fired at the police, there is no justification for killing him; he should have simply been apprehended. This leads us back to the question of the value of black lives in Brazil. Again, if a child posed no threat to law enforcement agents, what reason would there be to kill him? In Brazil, whenever there is a crime committed, the first thing that people want to know and is revealed is whether or not the suspect had a criminal record. But I would ask, assuming the suspect does have a history of petty theft but nothing of a violent nature, does this justify his elimination by law enforcement? In today’s Brazil, many citizens hold the view that a “good criminal is a dead criminal”, so for this group, we already know the answer. And as I stated at the beginning, if Ítalo did commit a crime, he should be dealt a strong dosage of justice. But also access to the opportunities that middle and upper class residents take for granted everyday.
One last question that a lot of people probably don’t want to read, but in a country of huge disparities along lines of race, and as with other situations in which police apply unnecessary force, would Ítalo have been killed had police seen that he had white skin, blue eyes and straight, blond hair? No we can’t say for absolute certainty. But we DO know that people react differently to homeless people, crackheads, BMW drivers, lost little girls, people who wear braids and people that die in a violent manner depending on these very racial characteristics. In closing, I declare that I stand where I have stood in previous posts. 10-year old Ítalo Ferreira de Jesus Siqueira did commit a crime. But he didn’t deserve to die!