They humiliated and scared him to death
On the morning of 17 June, at around 9 am, João de Assunção Eliseu, 20 years old, had just left his room and was heading to the communal bathroom of the village where he lived when two officers of the PNA approached him. According to one of the witnesses of the incident, João told the officers that he was just going to the bathroom and would go back to his room and put on his mask. As a punishment, the two police officers forced João to do somersaults, while pointing their guns at his face. João requested the officers to take a break because he was sick and tired, but in response one of the officers fired his gun into the air beside João, who fell on the ground and remained motionless. The neighbors alerted the officers that João had problems with his heart and blood hypertension. The police officer continued shouting at João, ordering him to stand up. When he did not react, the officers called an ambulance that arrived two hours later. He was taken to Hospital Cajueiros, in Cazenga municipality, where he died.
João’s body was kept in a common morgue (known as Camara Cinco), where unidentified bodies are sent to before being buried in a mass grave. His friends were able to claim the body and give him a proper funeral. Offering condolences, the police sent a food basket to João’s house. His friends are still waiting for the results of his autopsy and have no information on the procedures against the police officers. They reported being insulted at the police station when they request information about the case, the cops tell them “who are you to come here and ask us any question?”
João was abandoned by his parents when he was a baby, his family was his friends with whom he grew up in the Arnaldo Janssen Children’s Shelter (Centro de Acolhimento de Crianças Arnaldo Janssen – CACAJ), a catholic missionary institution in Palanca neighborhood, where he was still living.
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At least seven young boys have been killed by the security forces between May and July in an effort to enforce the preventives measures to fight the pandemic of COVID-19. Their families demand justice and we can help them.