Military Police look into a case of fraud in the investigation of youth killed by police

Afro Brazilians
Thiago da Silva Júnior
As we have documented on this blog time and time again, the murder of young, black males by police or death squads is an ongoing problem that has yet to attract international attention. In the meantime, an apparent cover up of another Afro-Brazilian youth has been exposed. This is only one of what is surely many others. Condolences to the family. 

The Military Police Command initiated an administrative proceeding to determine the falsification of the testimony of the mother of a teenager who died after being approached by military police in São Paulo. Thiago da Silva Júnior, 16, disappeared after an operation of the 31st Battalion of the Military Police on March 17, 2011, in Santos Dumont Park, in the suburb of Guarulhos (state of São Paulo). According to the military police inquiry, Eliana da Silva, 38, testified to the battalion the next day after finding her son’s body hidden in some forest bushes. According to the document, she said that her son had been approached by police and then released.

The Civil Police, however, said the mother had never entered the location or testified about the case to the Military Police. The document with her signature was analyzed at the Institute of Criminology, which verified fraud. The case was revealed by the Diario de S. Paulo newspaper. Eliane da Silva found her son’s body after having been informed by friends that her son had possibly been the victim of violence on the part of the Military Police.

In April of this year the Homicide Division of Guarulhos closed its investigation of the boy’s death and concluded that the perpetrators were soldiers Paulo Bastos Hernandes, Ednaldo Alves da Silva, Edilson de Oliveira and Luís Fábio Henrique da Silva.

They came to be arrested after the Court sentenced them to prison temporarily, but then habeas corpus was requested by Lieutenant Colonel Antonio de Mello Belucci, commander of the 31st Battalion.

“Tattoo”

Thiago’s body had a bullet hole mark on his neck with the characteristics of what is called a “tatuagem (tattoo)”, meaning he was shot at point blank range. His mother said to the police that one of the four Military Police suspected of the death of the young man had threatened to kill him 15 days before the crime.

According to the testimony of PMs, Thiago was with three other young men and one of them had fired a weapon at Military Police car. Also according to the police, two of the youths were arrested on suspicion of drug trafficking while Thiago and another teenager fled. The soldier Bastos said that he had only shot his weapon into the air. A witness heard by the police, however, said that Thiago had begged the police not to be killed.

São Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) admitted that the State had responsibility in the death of another young man, Yago Batista de Souza, 17, and says it would compensate the family. De Souza’s death was yet another Military Police murder that made headlines back in April of this year. He died on Saturday, April 14th after being shot by the Military Police in front of the building where he lived in Itaquera in eastern São Paulo. The officer, who was arrested, said that the shooting was accidental although de Souza’s family and friends disputed this version of the story. According to Military Police Major Vagner Seraphim Queiroz, the police were on a routine operation and didn’t have any intention of shooting the youth. “The shot was accidental. Probably, the guy made some abrupt gesture.”

Yago Batista de Souza

In that case, de Souza’s father, Evandro Souza de Jesus, 44, said he had not been approached by any representatives of the government soon after his son’s funeral. “That (compensation) will not change anything. It will not take away my pain, my suffering and it will not bring my son back. I need to know what he thinks is severance. I want to see his person, his lawyer, whatever, come to me”, he said.

Yago’s father said he took care of the boy, who in turn took care of his sick mother. He expected the police officer to be expelled from the Military Police and pay for what he did. “I don’t wish on him anything that is happening to me, nor that he suffer reprisal, or someone trying to hurt him or his child,” he said.

Evandro de Jesus Souza, Yago’s father

“He has to pay, to have the correct jail time. To be expelled from the police because he gets paid to take care of the population and not to take the life of an innocent (person). Everything that my son was wearing was from his father’s sweat. He was not a thief or anything. Not to mention that his mother is very ill and takes a lot of medicine. He took care of her. Now who is going to stay with her?”

Source: G1, Folha
About Marques Travae 3110 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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