Two white Brazilian police officers are being investigated for knocking out a Black man, calling him the “[N-word] and garbage.”
During a traffic stop on Saturday in the São Paulo city of Caieiras, authorities pulled over three motorcyclists who were allegedly drunk driving, the Daily Mail reported.
The two officers, only identified by their last names, Corporals Oliveira and Dietrich, gave one of the bikers, Kaio Souza, a hard time.
After an exchange of words, Souza walked toward Oliveira, and the officer pushed him.
Cell phone video footage shows that Oliveira decided to punch Souza. He was hit with one punch to the face, causing Souza to hit the ground. It was around this moment Oliveira called Souza a “[n—-r] and garbage.”
Oliveira then approached one of the other bikers who was being questioned and ordered him against a wall.
Souza was taken to a nearby hospital, according to the Brazilian newspaper, UOL Band.
All three men were charged with public intoxication, resistance, and disobedience, and they were fined an undisclosed amount and later released. However, it is not clear if Souza had been operating a bike.
Oliveira is being investigated for bodily injury and was placed on desk duty. His partner is also being investigated.
Oliveira and Dietrich allegedly tried to bury the evidence by taking the phone that recorded the knockout punch and discarding it in the trash.
The phone was later recovered and submitted to the police station, where investigators are reviewing it, according to news outlet G1.
Military police ombudsman Elizeu Soares told G1 that Souza was a victim of racism, saying “everything indicates that the policemen committed the crime of abuse of authority and bodily injury, with the unnecessary aggression perpetrated by one of the policemen.”
“There are (details) indicative of the crime of racism by the policemen,” said Soares. “In my opinion, the way the police approached those being (questioned) is because they are Black, they have no motivation for approaching (them).”