In a small town in Brazil, an arrest turned tragic. A man was forcibly pushed into the trunk of a vehicle, from which white smoke came out, apparently as if police were forcing him to withdraw his legs.
The death of a man who was suffocated to death in the trunk of a police car, and the thick smoke coming out of it, shocked Brazil, where a video of a witness filming the scene went viral. The Federal Road Police (PRF) on Thursday, during a routine check, confirmed that agents had “used immovable techniques and tools capable of low attack ability” on the “aggressive” face of the 38-year-old man.
The facts took place on Wednesday on a road near Umbaba, a small town of 25,000 people in the state of Sergip. Video footage clearly shows two PRF officers wearing helmets trying to close the trunk of a car on a man whose legs are still sticking out. Dense white smoke billows out of the trunk like a teardrop.
In the video, he cries out in pain, “They’re going to kill him!” We can also hear the shouting comments of a witness. The man moves his legs for a minute and then goes motionless. Officers then folded his legs and covered the trunk.
Death by suffocation was confirmed by autopsy
According to the PRF, the man was later taken to Umbauba police station, but during the trip was “unwell” and was taken to hospital, where he was “observed” and “pronounced dead”. Police did not say whether the man died at the hospital, but Sergei’s defense secretariat confirmed the death by “suffocation” as a result of the autopsy.
The victim’s nephew told the G1 news site that his uncle was “mentally ill” and told authorities he was on a motorcycle at the time of the stop. “I was near it, I saw everything. They put some kind of gas in the trunk. They wanted to take him to the police station, but my uncle was already unconscious. When they got to the hospital, it was too late,” he said.
“It’s not a death, it’s a crime. They acted brutally to kill him,” said the victim’s wife.
The police will investigate
The PRF said it was “sorry for the facts” and announced that it would “initiate disciplinary action to assess the conduct of the relevant authorities.” On Tuesday, the law enforcement agency, which usually operates exclusively on highways, took part in a police operation that killed at least 26 people in the favela of Vila Cruciro in Rio de Janeiro.
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