In Sao Paulo, Brazil, a paramilitary police officer shot dead a street vendor when the vendor attempted to grab a can of pepper spray held by the officer. The officer was in the process of arresting another man on the sidewalk with three other officers when the incident occurred.
The vendor tried to grab the can from the officers hand, and in the process of grabbing the can, pepper spray was released from the can. The officer fired his pistol at the vendor, who ran approximately 20 feet before falling dead in a pool of blood.
The vendor, Carlos Augusto Muniz Braga, was lamented by his wife.
“Why does the government deploy police unprepared to deal with the people–and how will I now take care of my three children?” said Claudia Silva Lopez.
Also among the bereaved are three children, aged 4, 9 and 12 years.
Claudia Lopez was not allowed to view her husband’s body.
Carlos Lopez was not working at the time of the incident. Reportedly, he was just passing through on his way to pick up one of his children from school when he noticed the three officers arresting another vendor.
The officer has since been arrested, according to the mayor of the city.
Brazil is known for having a high incidence of death during arrest. In comparison with the United States, where 1 in 32,000 arrestees are killed by police, Brazil has a rate of 1 in 229.
The number is considered to be higher still, however, as many people go missing unaccounted for. In 2013, over 5000 people went missing in Rio de Janeiro.
By James Haleavy