The Federal Public Ministry (MPF) opened this Friday (27) another procedure related to the death of Genivaldo de Jesus Santos, 38 years old, in Umbaúba (SE). According to the Regional Prosecutor’s Office for Citizens’ Rights (PRDC), in view of the news that the victim suffered from schizophrenia and was using prescription drugs, the prosecution will monitor the investigation of the alleged crime in the civil sphere to verify violations of citizens’ rights and , in particular, the rights of persons with disabilities.
The prosecutor’s office informed that it will make contact with the victim’s family and schedule a meeting with the Superintendence of the Federal Highway Police (PRF) in Sergipe “in order to discuss the measures already taken, as well as information about the existence of a protocol to approach the persons with disabilities within the scope of the PRF”.
Yesterday, a criminal procedure was initiated by the MPF to accompany the investigations into the possible responsibility of the police for the death of Genivaldo.
Genivaldo died after being approached by federal highway police. Images posted on the internet show the victim trapped inside a smoky vehicle. The suspicion is that the smoke was a gas fired by the police. The Instituto Médico Legal (IML) of Sergipe has identified in a preliminary way that the victim had as cause of death acute failure secondary to asphyxia.
The prosecution requests that people who witnessed the police action and recorded videos contact PRDC via email . The videos will be used in MPF investigations.
In a statement, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said that the Federal Public Ministry should investigate “the motivation for which Genivaldo was detained and the circumstances of his death, including possible signs of torture”. “It should also verify that the Federal Highway Police has adequate protocols and training for approaching people with psychosocial disabilities,” says HRW.
Oxfam Brasil said the crime did not generate immediate action. “In addition to the cruelty and vileness with which black populations are treated by police agents, it is noteworthy that such facts have not generated immediate and harsh actions on the part of governors and police chiefs”.
UN Human Rights in South America called for a “prompt and thorough investigation” into the death. “It is essential that the investigations initiated by the Federal Police and the Public Ministry comply with international human rights standards and that the responsible agents are brought to justice, guaranteeing reparation to the victim’s family members”, says Jan Jarab, UN Human Rights Regional Chief. .
In a note sent to Brazil Agencythe Federal Police informed that it will investigate “the circumstances of the death” and that steps have been taken to clarify “as soon as possible” what happened.
The Federal Highway Police (PRF) said, also in a statement, that it is committed to “the unequivocal investigation of the circumstances relating to the occurrence in the state of Sergipe, collaborating with the authorities responsible for the investigation”. The PRF instituted a disciplinary process to clarify the facts and the agents involved were removed from policing activities.