Brazilian black activists' tips on surviving police go viral

Swaths of the city called favelas are almost no-go areas for police, except during large-scale raids against the gangs, which operate openly in the densely packed streets.

Published: 20th February 2018 12:58 AM  |   Last Updated: 20th February 2018 12:58 AM   |  A+A-

Facebook screengrab of the video

By AFP

RIO DE JANERIO: Advice issued by black activists in Rio de Janeiro on "surviving" interactions with police -- including warning against carrying umbrellas that may be mistaken for guns -- went viral Monday.

In an approximately three minute video, which was quickly shared more than 54,000 times on Facebook, three men said their tips would be needed during a new crackdown led by the army on crime in Rio.

"Unfortunately we blacks are always targets for abuse and retaliations, so if you're black pay attention to what we're telling you," they say.

First is not to leave home late because "at night you are not only black to other people, but considered a dangerous bandit."

Other tips are never to go outside without identity papers, to tell friends where you are, and always to carry a phone to record incidents.

Reflecting the fear of being shot by police looking for Rio's well-armed drug gang members, the activists caution against carrying a long umbrella.

"It may seem stupid, but many people see them from a distance and think they are firearms."

President Michel Temer on Friday signed a decree giving the army control over Rio's police. The move, which must be confirmed by Congress, follows the failure of Rio state security services to get drug gangs under control.

Swaths of the city called favelas are almost no-go areas for police, except during large-scale raids against the gangs, which operate openly in the densely packed streets.

Police officers are also suffering in the spiralling violence. About one on average is killed every three days.

 


 

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