One of the police officers who admitted to having fired shots in the action of the Special Operations Battalion (BOPE), which resulted in nine deaths in the Salgueiro community, in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, told the CNN that “BOPE always works legally”. The agent was asked about the operation after leaving the Homicide Police Station in Niterói, São Gonçalo, Itaboraí and Maricá, this Monday (29).
The police officer, who chose not to reveal his identity, was the first of eight agents who will be heard this week. The deposition started around 4:30 pm and took more than three hours. He arrived at the scene in a corporation car, dressed in the camouflaged uniform of the BOPE and wearing balaclava – a hood that aims to ensure the protection of the head and neck.
Also on Monday, prosecutors of the Military Audit of the Public Ministry of the State of Rio de Janeiro (MPRJ) heard five police officers in the investigative inquiry that investigates a possible military crime during the operation. By the end of the week, the other three police officers who claimed to have fired will be heard. In addition to them, the battalion commander was called by the MP.
The Human Rights Commission of the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) sent an official letter to the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) and the MPRJ, last week, to cover explanations of those involved in the police action. A decision by the Federal Supreme Court (STF) prohibits operations in communities in Rio during the Covid-19 pandemic, except in exceptional cases.
In an interview with CNN Radio on Monday (22), Lieutenant Colonel Ivan Blaz said that the Conjunto de Favelas do Salgueiro began to be occupied “to prevent theft of cargo and vehicles by criminals”, but, according to him, “there was confrontation and resistance to the police presence” and the BOPE was activated.
The internal report of the BOPE admits that the agents were called for the operation in the community after the death of Sgt. Leandro Rumbelsperger da Silva. The data appears in the field “justification of the absolute exceptionality of the operation”.
Eight bodies of the nine suspects who died in the operation were removed from a mangrove swamp by residents the day after the operation. According to investigations, four of the dead had no criminal record and one was a minor.
Due to the action, 501 people were unable to take the first exam of the National Secondary Education Examination (ENEM). The National Institute of Educational Studies and Research Anísio Teixeira (Inep) informed that it will analyze the situation of each student who lost the exam. The next exams will be applied on January 9th and 16th, 2022.
The weapons of the police officers involved in the operation were handed over, on Wednesday (24), to the Homicide Police, for inspection.
Reference: CNN Brasil