Video footage showing a Brazilian man being trapped in the boot a police car has sparked protests and anger in Brazil.
The footage shows a Genivaldo De Jesus Santos in handcuffs being put into a boot, before officers release a gas canister inside and lean on the door.
As gas clouds escaped from the vehicle, they kept Mr Santos inside.
After a brief time, he stopped screaming. His legs, which were hanging from under the door, became motionless.
Maria Fabiana dos Santos was the wife of Mr Santos and said to Globo.com that she didn’t consider it fatal.
“That was a serious crime, they did it with cruelty to him.”
Protests erupted after the videos were released. People blocked roads and set blazes to tires, while holding signs demanding justice.
According to his family, Mr Santos, 38 had schizophrenia and was approached by police as he rode his motorbike through Umbauba in the northeastern region of Sergipe.
One of his nephews said that he became anxious when officers discovered his medicine in his pocket. Globo.com reported that he was nervous.
“Police officers converted a car into a gas chamber”
Wallyson de Jesus stated: “They threw some gas in the trunk and went straight to the police station. But my uncle was still unconscious.
“They took him to the hospital, but it was too late.”
The Brazilian Forum of Public Security reports that 6,416 people were killed by police in Brazil in 2020. Nearly 80% of these victims were black.
Renata Souza is a black politician and activist from Rio de Janeiro. She wrote on Twitter: “Police officers transformed a car into gas chambers and executed a mentally ill person.
“There are no words to describe such cruelty.” Brazil is an extermination prison.”
Douglas Belchior, who is a member the Coalition for Black Rights wrote on Twitter: “These deux vermin know that they are being filmed, and yet, they still applied a life sentence.”
“There is no more shame or decency.
“They tortured him and executed him.”
Police investigation into the conduct of officers
Brazil’s Federal Highway Police stated that Mr Santos was detained because he refused to surrender to police. They also said that he was aggressive and was stopped by “immobilisation techniques” and other instruments with less offensive potential.
According to the statement, Mr Santos became ill at the station while being taken by police and later died in hospital.
Although it did not mention that Mr Santos was being held captive by two police officers in the car’s boot, the document confirmed that an investigation had been opened into their conduct.
According to Reuters, an autopsy revealed that Mr Santos died of mechanical asphyxia.
According to the report, “This obstruction can be caused by many factors. At the first moment it was impossible to determine the cause or how it happened.”