Eduardo de Jesus, a 10-year-old Brazilian boy, was fatally shot seven months ago by a police officer outside his home, adding the growing number of police brutality cases that Brazil sees each year. After much testimony and careful deliberation, jurors ruled in favor of the defendant, concluding that the policeman acted in self defense and that the boy was caught up in the middle of shootings between policemen and drug cartel personnel .
Eduardo’s mother Terezinha Maria de Jesus believes that the death of her son was no accident, indignantly maintaining that she too was threatened by the same police officer that killed her son. “[The police officers] need to be tried, sentenced, and imprisoned,” said Terezinha, and she vowed that she would “fight tooth and nail for that to happen” .
Believing Eduardo de Jesus to be a victim of a much larger system of corruption, the citizens of a Brazil have taken a stand against the issue with protests and rallies  . One protester articulated that “The violence of Rio is an attack on our children…We cannot stand by and watch as our kids die without the protection of society. People in the slums should not be treated like the outcasts of society” . Others called for institutional reforms. What we need [is] a debate about police behavior and training” said another demonstrator .
Two issues must be handled in here: how to address the officers’ failure to uphold integrity, and how to staunch the source of this deficit. For now, protesters hope to pressure Brazil into taking action.
by Bradford Lin ‘18 | Staff Writer