Note from BW of Brazil: I don’t really have the words for this story. Time and time again, we see these types of stories involving Brazilian police forces, their tactics for allegedly fighting the drug trade and the senseless loss of yet another innocent victim losing his/her life during the course of the action. And as usual, we have a situation in which police claim to have done one thing while residents and witnesses tell a completely different story. For those who still like to pretend that race isn’t an issue here, I’ll give you just one guess at what color young João Pedro was. And while you’re thinking about this, let me know the last time you read a story about police entering a middle-class, mostly white neighborhood and riddling a house with more than 70 shots.
And the genocide continues: In São Gonçalo, 14-year old João Pedro shot and killed during police operation in city of São Gonçalo; according to witness, police also threw grenade in house
By Fabiola Testi, Luciana Lima and Tácio Lorran
A 14-year-old boy died after being shot, on Monday night (05/18), during an operation by the Federal Police (PF) and the Civil Police in the Complexo do Salgueiro, in São Gonçalo, Rio de Janeiro.
After being struck, João Pedro Matos Pinto was taken by a police helicopter, without the consent of the family, who only learned of the boy’s death on Tuesday morning (05/19).
Relatives report that they spent the night looking for the young man going from hospital to hospital. He was not found until 17 hours later, at the Instituto Médico Legal (IML), already lifeless.
The boy’s family didn’t receive news about João’s whereabouts until the following Tuesday morning (05/19). The hashtag #procurasejoaopedro (In search of João Pedro) was among the most talked about subjects on Twitter and caused a stir when news of the boy’s death was announced by a relative of the victim, also on the social network.
“Unfortunately my João isn’t coming back,” said Daniel Blaz, the boy’s cousin, on the social network. “May Jesus welcome you with open arms, my champion,” he continued.
The Civil Police of Rio de Janeiro (PCRJ) informed that it initiated an investigation to investigate the death of the teenager killed during the police operation.
An on-site expertise was carried out and two witnesses testified at the police station. Police officers were heard and the weapons used in the operation were seized. A ballistic match will be taken to identify where the shot that took João Pedro’s life came from.
The operation, according to the PCRJ, aimed to carry out two search and seizure warrants against leaders of a criminal faction.
“During the action, drug dealers’ security guards tried to escape by jumping over the wall of a house. They fired at the police and threw grenades at the agents,” informed the police, without giving details of where the firearm shot that hit João Pedro came from.
“The young man was injured and rescued by helicopter. Doctors from the Fire Department provided care, but he didn’t resist his injuries,” the corporation continued, in a note.
The Federal Police, in turn, issued a note with the same information as the Civil Police. “The PF will monitor and provide all the information and support necessary to clarify the facts”, he added.
In social networks, a flood of publications requested justice for the death of João Pedro.
JOAO PEDRO PRESENTE: @_danblaz
UNFORTUNATELY MY JOÃO WON’T BE COMING BACK 😭 THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HELPED US JOÃO WAS FOUND TODAY AT THE IML OF SÃO GONÇALO 😭 MAY JESUS RECEIVE YOU WITH OPEN ARMS MY CHAMPION ✨
Gabi Oliveira @depretas
“The mother generates, creates with difficulty, suffocates. The son grows up. The state comes and kills”. Rest in peace, João Pedro. Because for us, since we got here, we have only been offered war.
URGENT! I am in contact with João Pedro’s family and their parents have just learned that his body is in the IML. The 14-year-old was indoors playing with cousins and friends. UNTIL WHEN WILL STATE MURDERERS KEEP KILLING BLACKS AND FAVELADOS (slum residents)???
How many more have to die for this war to end? João Pedro, 14 years old. He was shot in a police operation in São Gonçalo while playing at home. He was taken in a helicopter without anyone responsible. The family now received news of the death, hours later.
The Military Police of Rio de Janeiro (PMRJ) carried out operations on Tuesday in nine communities. One of them is in the Salgueiro Complex, where João Pedro was shot.
Policemen arrived shooting at João Pedro and threw a grenade, says cousin
In addition to firearms, agents of the Federal and Civil police threw grenades at João Pedro’s home. The account of João’s cousin who witnessed the facts reports an action that included the use of heavy weapons. In an audio released this Tuesday (05/19) by Daniel Blaz, the victim’s cousin reveals a different version of the facts on a social network.
“We were playing pool and the helicopter started flying around the house. Then they started shooting towards the hill,” said the witness.
According to João’s cousin, the police were told that there was only a child in the house, but even so they invaded the residence and threw a grenade at the door.
“Closest to the door were me and João. There was a buzz. Then they took a lot of shots at the window, and we came out running to the room. We ran to the room, João and Duda were in the pantry, lying down,” the young man continued.
“The police came in, told us to lie on the floor and everyone to shut up,” he detailed.
João laid there. In the audio, he says he didn’t know if the boy was dead. But, according to him, the police even measured the boy’s pulse to see if he was alive.
The witness said that after the action, a third person, named Mateus, tried to take João to the hospital in the car, but policemen shot again, then taking the boy via helicopter.
JOAO PEDRO PRESENTE@_danblaz
NO MORE QUESTIONS NOW!! WHAT IN FACT HAPPENED TO #JoaoPedro REPORTS FROM OUR COUSIN OF THE SAME AGE WHO WAS WITH HIM WHEN EVERYTHING HAPPENED! THIS WILL NOT REMAIN LIKE THIS #JUSTICAPARAJOAOPEDRO #procurasejoaopredro #JoaoPedro MY ANGEL 😭😇✨
Federal Public Ministry gives PF 10 days to explain circumstances of João Pedro’s death, 14
Another request was also sent to the MPF in Rio to accompany investigations into the death that occurred during a police operation
The External Control Chamber of Police Activity and the Prison System of the Federal Public Ministry (7CCR/MPF) requested of the Federal Police in Rio de Janeiro for information on the operation that resulted in the death of João Pedro Mattos Pinto, 14, on Monday (05/18), at Complexo do Salgueiro, in São Gonçalo, metropolitan region of the capital of Rio de Janeiro. The request was made in a letter sent to the Superintendence on Thursday (05/21).
In another letter, the collegiate body asked the Federal Public Ministry in Rio de Janeiro to investigate the circumstances of the crime, including the possibility of the occultation of a corpse.
The Federal Police, the MPF requested a copy of documents and details of the operation. In the document, 7CCR questioned whether the teenager João Pedro was rescued or transported to a health unit by agents of the Federal Police. He also questioned whether there was an internal procedure for investigating the circumstances of the young man’s death.
In addition, a copy of the operation’s audiovisual records captured by the Federal Police, if any, was requested; data on the responsible police station; objectives of the operation; names of the agents involved; distribution of tasks among the security forces that participated in the operation, among other pertinent information to elucidate the facts.
The Federal Police have ten days to answer the questions.
In the document sent to the MPF in Rio de Janeiro, the 7th Chamber asks the institution to inform the agency about the progress of any measures taken and asks for the investigations to be monitored by the MPF in the state.
The documents are signed by the coordinator of the 7th Chamber, deputy attorney general of the Republic Domingos Sávio da Silveira, and by the regional attorney of the Republic Marcelo de Figueiredo Freire, member of the 7CCR and coordinator of the Interinstitutional Working Group for the Defense of Citizenship.
João Pedro Matos took a rifle shot in the belly while playing with his cousins at the family’s home in Complexo do Salgueiro.
According to the boy’s relatives, the police took the cell phones of the victim and the other youths who were with him at the scene. The family also denies the version that there was an exchange of fire.
House where 14-year-old João Pedro died has 72 gunshot marks
The teenager’s father said police officers forged a version of the police action that killed the young man
The father of the teenager João Pedro again affirmed that the Civil Police forged a version about the police action that killed the young, and that the walls of the property have at least 72 marks of gunshots.
In an interview with the Globo TV talk show Encontro com Fátima Bernardes, Neilton Matos denied that the criminals had invaded the residence, as stated in the police version. “The police want to forge a situation. There were no bandits. They entered the house and threw two grenades, besides the shots. There were only teenagers of the family,” he said.
For Neilton, the police took away his son’s dream. “João was not on the street in confrontation. He was inside a house, a home. Nobody has the right to enter someone’s home and take the life of a 14-year-old,” he lamented.
The young man’s father believes that the guilty will be punished and says he believes in the Justice of God. “If justice is not done here, God’s will be, but we hope it will be fulfilled here. My son had dreams, he already knew what he wanted. He wanted to be a lawyer and he was able to do that. A son with good grades, a boy 100%”, he recalled.
The version told by the agents of the Coordination of Special Resources (Core) who participated in the action of the Civil Police is that traffickers had invaded the house, thrown a grenade at the police, who retaliated.
The police chief responsible for the case, Allan Duarte, has already heard the testimony of three civil police officers and two witnesses, and ruled out the involvement of the young people with drug dealers.