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Copacabana residents organize a kind of “task force” to combat robberies in the neighborhood

After the recent escalation of violence in Copacabana, in the south zone of Rio de Janeiro, with episodes of robberies and assaults, residents of the neighborhood organized a kind of “task force” with the intention of drawing the attention of the authorities and combating crimes. .

Through social media, one of the movement’s leaders, William Correia, recorded a video calling on other volunteers to take to the streets to confront criminals.

“So, Copacabana boys, what will it be? Are we going to let the guys do what they want here in our neighborhood? Where are our guys from 2015 who sent these guys running? And there? Are you going to hope to be our father, our grandfather, your father, someone from your family? Take a punch in the face and leave it at that, no one does anything? The police cannot do anything, they arrest and release”, stated Correia in part.

The initiative took place after the repercussions of the robbery and aggression suffered by trader Marcelo Rubim Benchimol, aged 67, last Saturday (2). The elderly man was on his way to the gym, on Avenida Nossa Senhora de Copacabana, near Rua Dias da Rocha, when he noticed that a woman was being robbed by a gang.

See also: Police exchange gunfire after attempted robbery in Rio de Janeiro

He tried to intervene and ended up getting punched and falling to the ground unconscious. After the fall, the criminals searched Marcelo’s pockets and managed to take a cell phone. With his face still bruised, he gave a statement at the Ipanema police station on Monday (4), but stated that he does not trust that this type of crime will end in Rio de Janeiro.

The report from CNN had access to images provided by the security company Gabriel, which has an agreement signed with the Civil and Military police, which show that the group that robbed Marcelo in Copacabana had already carried out another robbery, in Arpoador, also in the South Zone, on the same day.

The suspects also attacked the victims, who, at the time, were two women.

The disbelief that there could be a solution to the neighborhood’s public security problem is not only shared by Marcelo, but is also present in the messages exchanged in groups of residents in the region.

In some prints it is possible to observe residents reporting violence suffered and scheduling a meeting to “define parameters and strategies for action in the neighborhood”.

In another record, some suggest the use of force to inhibit robbers.

The measure was criticized by Colonel Ubiratan Ângelo, former general commander of the PM who is an analyst in public security.

“Only the state can pursue the criminal offender, which is to be determined through criminal investigation and procedural investigation. After the investigation, carried out in a trial, only the state can judge and punish. The use of force must be legal, technical and carried out by a capable agent. The use of force must be legal and can only be in opposition to opposing force, against an agent or third party”, stated Ubiratan.

“So this use also has to be measured, gradual, selective, in accordance with international and national standards for the use of force. It is not a punitive use, but a reactive use to avoid a greater evil, to contain a situation. It is not up to ordinary citizens, regardless of whether they believe in the police body or not.”

“If he doesn’t believe that the solution is through the police, let him organize and present proposals and solutions. There are those who say that citizens can use force when they are in self-defense. The use of force in this case is to preserve the right that is being attacked. If society organizes itself in parallel, it is called militia. This is when the citizen decides to comply with the law and order in their perception parallel to the power of the state”, argues the former commander-general.

Another man considered one of the main mobilizers of the Copacabana residents’ initiative made an appeal on social media. He asked for the involvement of gyms and fighters in the region for what he called a “cleaning project”.

One of the main criticisms from group participants is regarding the release of suspects after a custody hearing. Many complain that they are arrested after crimes, but are released from jail in a short time.

One of the most recent cases that caught attention was that of suspect Alan Ananias Cavalcante, who, according to the police, is part of a gang that commits robberies and robberies in the south zone. The man was arrested four times in less than a month.

In just one day, Alan was taken to the police station twice. In the last episode, at the end of November, he was arrested after robbing and attacking tourists from São Paulo, in Copacabana.

Before that, he had been arrested on suspicion of participating in the death of singer Taylor Swift’s fan, Gabriel Mongenot Santana Milhomem Santos, aged 25, on the sands of Copacabana Beach.

However, he was released at a custody hearing as he was not recognized by his friends who were with Gabriel at the time he was stabbed.

A CNN contacted the Court of Justice to comment on the criticisms of the Judiciary’s performance and is awaiting a position on the matter. The report also contacted the Military Police.

The Civil Police stated that they were aware of the “task force” created by residents, and that efforts are underway to identify those involved and clarify the facts.

Source: CNN Brasil

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