Caption: Buses were set on fire by residents, so great was the revolt against the cowardice practiced by the MPs. Photo: G1 Reproduction
Residents of the Guaianases neighborhood, in the eastern part of São Paulo, protested against the murder of the 27-year-old worker Rodney Batista on January 25.
The residents closed the avenue Nordestina, around 10 am. They were attacked and intimidated by military police (MPs) who dropped tear gas bombs and fired rubber bullets. In response, the residents set fire to a bus.
According to witnesses, Rodney, who was a gardener, was killed when he was approached by the military when he left for work in the very condominium where he lived with his family, located in the same area.
The man was reportedly startled when he saw the police with a photograph of him in their hands trying to find him. At this moment Rodney ran and was shot in the leg. Even shot he managed to jump over a wall and hide in a neighbor’s house.
In an interview with the press monopoly Record, the neighbor in question, who did not want to be identified for fear of retaliation by the police, reported that “the police arrived and sent everyone out and then did not let anyone else in. They shot about seven times, an execution, with no chance of defense, he was without a gun with nothing”.
In a note the MP says they went to the site after a report of a robbery at a gas station and that in action 2 suspects were arrested and one was killed after an exchange of gunfire.
Another man in interview during the protest said “I heard him saying don’t kill me, don’t kill me, I heard three shots and then two more, when the woman left in despair saying that they had killed him inside her house”.
The residents were even more revolted, because at the end of the action the cops failed to get help to Rodney and left the man in agony for about an hour.
“They killed him in cold blood at close range, he was not armed and it was not just one shot, and still left the guy inside agonizing, totally negligent, no rescue came only more cars, they said the rescue was coming and then when they called they reported that there was no call there,” denounced Edinei Batista, brother of the victim.
Family members also denounced the military for wanting to take the recording of the local security cameras to destroy them and clear the scene of the barbaric crime. But Rodney’s relatives and residents of the housing complex prevented the police from destroying the tapes and handed them over to the Civil Police.
“Everybody’s angry because he was a hard worker who helped his neighbor, whatever he could do for you he did; today it was my nephew tomorrow it could be my two kids,” said Milena dos Santos, Rodney’s aunt.
Wesley Batista, another brother of Rodney, said that his parents are very shaken and suffering after what happened, for him the crime is related to the role of the police in this society: “injustice, there’s nothing more to say, the footage shows the injustice that the police have practiced, but for them it’s just another black man, they do not care about my brother who is in a coffin my family who is suffering, a savagery what they did.
Rodney was married and left behind a three-year-old daughter and a six-year-old stepson.
BUS BURNING AS PROTEST AGAINST POLICE VIOLENCE
On several occasions residents angry at the regular violence employed by MPs against peripheral populations, have made fair use of the combative protest with barricades and burning vehicles to oppose and confront the military, who in turn are armed to the teeth.
In São Paulo, only in the year 2020, AND itself reported several cases in which through brutality committed by the police, residents already exhausted from constant daily oppression took to the streets to demonstrate their indignation against the system that makes them watch a son, relative or neighbor be murdered with every police raid. We will cite three cases:
On May 31, two buses were set on fire by residents of the Cidade Tiradentes neighborhood in the eastern part of São Paulo. Workers took action as a form of protest after a young man was killed by military personnel of the Tobias Aguiar Ostensives (Rota) on the night of May 30.
On June 15, residents of Vila Clara, in the south zone of São Paulo, set fire to ten buses, destroyed three others, vehicles were also destroyed and barricades were set on fire. Even the PM’s shock troops were repelled by youths infuriated by the brutal execution of 15-year-old Guilherme Silva Guedes, who was killed by police.
On August 10, six buses were set on fire in protest after Rogério Ferreira da Silva Júnior, 19, was murdered by police while riding a motorcycle through the Parque Bristol neighborhood on his birthday.