News 21 November 2020

Protests erupt after security guards kill a black man at a supermarket in Brazil

21 November 2020

A black man has died at a Carrefour supermarket in the city of Porto Alegre, in Brazil, after being beaten to death by security guards, on the eve of Black Consciousness Day.

Videos of the incident circulated on social media shortly after, sparking protests across the country’s capital city, Brasilia.

A viral clip showed one of the security guards restraining Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas just outside of a Carrefour supermarket, whilst the other repeatedly hit him in the face. A staff member at the store was stood to one side filming the incident.

Other clips which circulated went on to show a guard kneeling on Joao’s back.

Dozens of outraged protestors entered a Carrefour chain in Brasilia on Friday morning (November 20), chanting, “Black lives matter!”, whilst some held signs encouraging civilians to boycott shopping at the supermarket.

Meanwhile, in Sao Paulo, protestors smashed the front window of another Carrefour supermarket and set a fire within the store.

The supermarket chain released a statement saying it will terminate its contract with the security company, fire the store manager who was on duty at the time of Joao’s killing and close the Porto Alegre store, out of respect.

Nadine Anflor, the civil police chief for the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, where Porto Alegre is capital, said that the men who beat Joao have now been detained and are being investigated for homicide. Rodrigo Mohr, the head of the state’s military police, stated that one of the security guards was also a temporary military police officer.

Govenor Eduardo Leite said, “Unfortunately, on this day in which we should be celebrating those public policies, we come across scenes that leaves us all indignant due to the excessive violence that caused the death of a Black citizen at the supermarket.”