Note from BW of Brazil: This is a followup to the report posted yesterday involving a black man in a Caixa bank location in Bahia being assaulted and put in a headlock by a Military Police soldier. Needless to say, the story was picked by independent as well as mainstream media in a yet another blatant disrespect of Brazil’s black population. Although there have been repercussions in this case, it would be foolish to believe that these sorts of aggressions and humiliations will suddenly cease. After all, this is the way Brazil has been treating black people for centuries.
Group protests at Caixa agency after accusation of racism
About 100 people participated in the act; lawyers guild repudiates police action
By Tailane Muniz
A group of 100 protesters went to the Caixa Econômica Federal of São Pedro, on Avenida Sete de Setembro, Downtown Salvador, on the afternoon of Tuesday (26), to get answers about the episode of violence suffered by businessman Crispim Terral, 34, who was detained by a military police officer with a headlock on the 19th.
The PM would have complied with the order of the agency’s general manager, who says on video that “I will only leave out with him [Crispim] handcuffed”. The action was recorded by the victim’s teenage daughter, who was accompanying her father to an discuss an issue at the bank, and has already reverberated throughout the country since the Monday night (25).
Crispim, who owns the Farmácia Terral (pharmacy), in Salinas da Margarida, in the Recôncavo region of Bahia, participated in the manifesto. He accuses both Caixa and the PM (military police) of racism. Jerónimo Mesquita, president of the Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB-BA), repudiated the manager’s position and “excessive violence by the Military Police.” The Public Ministry of the State of Bahia (MP-BA) has stated that it will investigate a denunciation of racism.
In a note sent to CORREIO (newspaper), Caixa Econômica Federal stated that it was investigating the circumstances of the case. “Caixa informs that it is investigating and will take all appropriate measures. CAIXA points out that it repudiates attitudes of discrimination committed against anyone,” it said.
Leadership of the CMA Hip Hop collective, militant Hamilton Oliveira, known as DJ Branco, 37, said the act was organized over the internet in about two hours.
“We had to do it today. This is one of the most popular agencies in the city that has a huge amount of blacks, we are the majority. We cannot accept this institutionalized racism, we have come to tell society that Crispim is not alone. Racism kills our people in many ways,” he commented to CORREIO.
Protest inside bank: “Racists will not get by”
The act, which lasted about an hour, was attended by representatives of the Movimento Negro (black movement) and caught the attention of customers who were waiting on the establishment.
To CORREIO, Crispim said that for two months he has been in contact with the bank branch to receive the proof of payment of two checks – one in the amount of R$ 1 thousand and another of R$ 1,056. Both were returned by the agency in November last year on the grounds that there was no balance in the account to compensate them.
‘They tried to impede’
Psychologist and professor Walter Takemoto, 64, who was also present in the act in defense of the businessman, said that the manager of the store asked them not to enter, but noting that the group would not back down, he did not prevent them.
“If they had prevented us from entering, we would block the entrances, it would be worse. So what we did was enter peacefully and explain to customers why we were there, and what happened to Crispim was, yes, racism,” said Takemoto.
Still according to the psychologist, the agency was full at the time of the act.
“It’s an agency characterized by the delay in attendance, those who go there, know this. They asked us not to film, but we did not accept this either. Our objective was to show the disdain with which they run the agency and the importance of discussing racism,” he said.
The psychologist, who is also a militant, recalled the murder of student Pedro Gonzaga, 19, by an extra supermarket chain security in similar circumstances 12 days ago.
“It hasn’t even been 15 days since we saw what happened to Pedro. And I think that if Crispim was younger, more slender, who knows, something worse couldn’t have happened. The blow was the same,” he said.
‘An abuse in every respect’
President of the Human Rights Commission of the OAB-BA, Jerônimo Mesquita explained to CORREIO that the images recorded by the entrepreneur’s daughter show a succession of “abuses of power”.
First, the lawyer pointed out that the demand for handcuffs by the Caixa manager already indicates an exaggerated act for the situation. “Even before it got to violence, it was already absurd… There is a summary in the Federal Supreme Court (STF) that says that the use of handcuffs should be exceptional. The victim only demands his rights, he wants clarifications.”
According to him, the commission received the video as a complaint and is already in contact with the businessman.
“He is a black guy, who was treated with such brutality, including by the police. It is unjustifiable, because it would not happen to a white woman, in an agency in Itaigara, for example,” said the lawyer, about the physical assault.
Jerônimo also commented that the PM could not have yielded to the request of the store manager, who demanded the arrest of the businessman. “A public servant has a duty to refuse to comply with this type of order, which we call manifestly illegal, the policeman had to have refused to comply. Crispim offered no risk to anyone’s life there,” he concluded.
Mata-leão (Head lock)
After refusing to be handcuffed, the entrepreneur ended up being put in a “mata-leão” (head lock) by one of the PMs. The video of the moment Crispim is immobilized was recorded by his 15-year-old daughter accompanying him.
“I also believe that I suffered racism from the police, because I didn’t even have a reaction, I was calm. They can even ask for the images of the security cameras of the bank. My daughter panicked,” he said.
Crispim says he was driven by the police in a vehicle to the Central de Flagrantes, where he was charged with disobedience and resistance. He then sought a health facility – the UPA dos Barris – where he received care because he felt pain in the jaw, head, neck, and left shoulder.
He filed a complaint against the PMs in the Military Police Comptroller on Wednesday (20). According to the account of the businessman, registered in the Comptroller and made available by him in a social network, police soldiers Roque da Silva and Rafaeal Valverde Nolesco initiated the physical aggression against him.
Use of handcuffs
According to PM spokesman Captain Bruno, the use of handcuffs is recommended to police officers in situations where suspects “pose risks to police or to themselves.”
“Like, for example, when the individual is arguing and out of control. In that case, it requires a police restraint,” explained the captain.
Still according to the spokesman, part of the video was suppressed and, therefore, an investigation is being opened to try to discover what happened just before the businessman received the “mata-leão” of the policeman.
“We’re investigating. We received the video and forwarded it to the Comptroller(PM) so that all the people involved were heard, including knowing about the police action and we will certainly give a response,” said Bahia Public Security Secretary Maurício Barbosa.
In a statement, the PM reported that the 18th Military Police Battalion (BPM/Historical Downtown) was activated by the agency’s agents because one of the clients refused to leave the agency, even after the end of the business hours.
The CORREIO tried to contact the Federação Brasileira de Bancos (Brazilian Federation of Banks) (Febraban), but did not obtain a return.
BANK MANAGER INVOLVED IN CONFUSION WITH CUSTOMER WHO DENOUNCED RACISM AND PUT IN A HEADLOCK SUSPENDED
Courtesy of Geraldo José
The manager of Caixa Econômica Federal involved in an incident with a client in Salvador, was removed from his activities. The information was disclosed on Caixa’s website this morning (27). In the confusion, the client reported being a victim of racism and was assaulted by military police officers called by the manager. Crispim Terral, 34, posted the complaint on social networks, accompanied by a video where a police officer appears putting him in a “mata-leão” (headlock).
On Wednesday morning, Crispim went to the 1st precinct police station in Salvador to denounce the bank manager who appears in the image asking the police to handcuff Crispim. In the video, the manager appears saying: “I don’t deal with these types of people”.
“We are here in the police station, in the first precinct police station, registering an incident against the general manager of the Caixa Econômica Federal. Crispim is at this very moment in the vicinity of the police station, giving testimony, and telling how everything happened. The defense, a posteriori, will give more information about the strategy, we will still meet, to see the best path possible,” said lawyer Luana Faria, who represents Crispim.
“It is obvious that, in view of the whole scenario created, the moment he sought information in the agency, and in the face of all the embarrassment he suffered, here we will seek to see, identify, what mechanisms may be used for the purpose of holding those guilty responsible for the embarrassment suffered by Crispim,” nsaid lawyer André Cruz, who is also part of Crispim’s defense.
“We have been talking in the direction of seeking the framework, or the crime of racism, because the speech of the manager himself gives a more extensive connotation. And also glimpsing the possibility of (racial injury), this situation we will check throughout the course and the measures that will be adopted,” added the lawyer.
Still on the act of the manager, Caixa said it opened an investigation by the company’s comptroller to detail the case. He also said that he condemned practices and attitudes of discrimination committed against anyone and that on Thursday (28) he will carry out a specific training with a whole service network to reinforce the policy of relationship with customers.