World

Brazil: Outrage over São Paulo policeman stepping on girl’s neck

A military police officer in São Paulo, Brazil. File photoImage copyright
EPA

Image caption

A military police officer in São Paulo, Brazil. File photo

Two military police officers in Brazil’s São Paulo city are to face criminal charges after pictures were broadcast on TV showing one of them stepping on the neck of a black woman.

The victim, a middle-aged owner of a small bar, was then dragged in handcuffs across the pavement.

The recording was made by a person who witnessed the incident in May.

State Governor João Doria said he would not tolerate such abuses, and that both officers had been sacked.

The officers’ names have not been released.

The governor added that 2,000 police officers in the São Paulo force would now be equipped with body cameras.

The footage was broadcast on Fantástico TV over the weekend.

The images have stirred considerable anger in Brazil, evoking the death in US police custody of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis on 25 May.

A white police officer was seen kneeling on Mr Floyd’s neck, as he pleaded that he could not breathe.

Mr Floyd’s death has sparked a wave of mass street protests – which at times were violent – across the US.

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