Brazil: Tensions flare at Porto Alegre protest over Black man”s killing by security guards

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Tensions flared as protesters took to the streets of Porto Alegre on Monday to denounce racism and demand justice for Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas, a Black man beaten to death by security guards of a Carrefour supermarket.

Riot police were seen deploying tear gas as protesters threw objects at them. Fires were seen on the street as protesters brought down a fence of a Carrefour supermarket and threw pyrotechnics.

Protesters were also seen marching through the city earlier during the day.

40-year-old Freitas died on Thursday after being beaten by an off-duty military police officer and a member of security staff at a Carrefour in Porto Alegre.

The fatal beating took place after Freitas was reportedly escorted out of the supermarket onto the car park, following an alleged altercation at the checkout desk.

Unsuccesful attempts to resuscitate the victim were made by paramedics who were called on site. The killing was recorded and went viral on social media, sparking a wave of protests across Brazil.

Protesters are demanding justice for Freitas as well as the abolishment of the military brigade, of which the off-duty temporary military police officer was part of.

The multinational supermarket chain have issued a statement “deeply regretting” the incident and offering support to Freitas’ family. They have also stated that they have cancelled the security contract with their service provider, closed the shop and will take the necessary steps to ensure a process of accountability.

A trial is currently ongoing to determine the legal outcome of the incident.

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