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Rio police apology after killing

October 24th, 2009
Brazilian police are involved in a major crackdown against Rio's drug gangs

Brazilian police are involved in a major crackdown against Rio's drug gangs

An investigation has begun after two policemen in Rio de Janeiro apparently let robbers walk away after shooting a man, who later died.

It is also claimed the officers failed to help the victim.

Video footage from the street appears to show the officers removing items from the victim, which were never registered as stolen.

The police in the city have apologised and an official spokesman for the force has also been removed from his job.

The state governor accused the spokesman of “acting like a lawyer” for the officers during a television interview.

This controversy comes at a time when police in the Brazilian city are involved in a major operation against drug traffickers, after one of their helicopters was brought down by gunfire last weekend.

At least 30 people have died as a result of the offensive since last Saturday.

Stolen property

The man who was shot and fatally wounded in the robbery last weekend was Evandro da Silva, a co-ordinator with the widely-respected charity, AfroReggae, which works to help young people in Rio’s shanty towns.

Video footage from street cameras at the crime scene shows a police car arriving almost immediately afterwards, and pursuing the two robbers.

It appears the two suspects were captured but a short time later at least one of them can be seen walking away.

It seems nothing was done to help Mr da Silva as he lay dying.

The video shows a police officer putting the items which were stolen from the victim – his jacket and shoes – into the back of the patrol car.

According to Brazil’s TV Globo, the items taken from the scene were never registered as stolen property.

A friend of the dead man has also alleged that he found him alive 50 minutes after the shooting but two officers at the scene refused to help.

By Gary Duffy

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