Global NewsMan Dies in Police's Boot, Sanction Underway

Man Dies in Police’s Boot, Sanction Underway


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Brazilian police officers are facing disciplinary action after a black man died after being forced into the boot of their car before a gas grenade was set off.

The harrowing footage of the death of Genivaldo de Jesus Santos, 38, has rocked Brazil.

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Footage of the incident in the northeastern city of Umbauba emerged on social media on Wednesday. The clips show gas billowing from the back of the vehicle.

Police can be seen holding a door of the car closed. Mr. Santos can be seen in the clip screaming and kicking frantically but officers push down on the door with his legs outside the car and the rest of his body inside. His legs then go limp.

An autopsy showed he died of asphyxiation.

A police statement said Mr. Santos had been arrested for “actively” resisting officers. It said he had been behaving aggressively so police used “immobilisation techniques and instruments of less offensive potential” to restrain him.

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But local reports from relatives at the scene said officers bundled him into the boot after he was asked to lift his shirt by police.

Wallyson de Jesus, a nephew of Mr Santos, said: “They threw some kind of gas inside the trunk and went to the police station, but my uncle was unconscious. They took him to the hospital, but it was already too late”.

Renata Souza, a black activist and politician from Rio de Janeiro, said “police officers turned a car into a gas chamber and executed a mentally ill man.”

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Santos’s wife, Maria, told local news site G1. “This was a crime, perpetrated with cruelty,”

His family said he suffered from schizophrenia and was taking prescription medication. He had packets of his pills in his bag when he was stopped by police.

President Jair Bolsonaro said he would be looking into the incident amid a growing public backlash.

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