Caption: The people of Montenegro protest against the murder of the young man. Photo: Jornal Ibiá
In the early hours of January 10, Marcelo Júnior dos Santos Teixeira, a young 18 year old worker, was murdered by police of the Montenegro Military Brigade in the metropolitan area of Porto Alegre. Marcelo was riding a motorcycle with a friend when he was shot. In the following days, a recording of what happened circulated on social networks, contradicting the police’s version that the young men were carrying drugs. The event generated widespread outrage among the city residents.
Marcelo Júnior had gone out with his friend to buy a soda when they were surprised by the Brigade during a night operation. His friend, also eighteen years old, nervous about not having a driver’s license, tried to escape the cops’ approach. They chased the young men with a vehicle and surrounded them near Marcelo’s house, with a second car in front, headlights on. When the young man tried to evade the car, a police officer shot Marcelo, who died after being rescued in the hospital.
The Military Brigade, on standby, justified it by saying that the youths were involved in drug trafficking. A photo released by the Civil Police shows a black backpack with packets of marijuana and crack, which they say they found with the boys. They also reported that the motorcycle had started towards the police, who had “acted in self-defense” by shooting the passenger.
After that, however, a video of what happened circulated through social networks, showing the exact moment of the shots. It can be seen in the video that the youngsters didn’t carry any backpack, only the soft drink. In addition, neither of the young people had any police record.
On January 12, after the video was released, the population marched by the hundreds through the center of the city demanding justice. Along the main street, the demonstrators, along with Marcelo’s family and friends, pressed the city’s “authorities”. Outraged, they chanted slogans like Justice for Marcelinho! while carrying posters and balloons of mourning.
The case also generated a huge commotion and revolt in the social networks, where the residents of the city made other complaints against the arbitrary and reactionary character of the Montenegrin police. Marcelo’s relatives, in the face of cowardly attacks on his image promoted by the local media and reactionaries, rebutted the generic accusations that associated the young man with drug trafficking. Together with friends and acquaintances, they used virtual platforms to clarify that Marcelo was never involved with drugs, that he was a young family worker.