By Stephen Eisenhammer, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The family of a fifteen-year-old boy shot on Sunday evening in Fazendinha, a favela which forms part of the Complexo do Alemão in Rio’s Zona Norte (North Zone), blame the police for the attack and have said they will sue the government over the incident. The teenager, named Evandro, was shot accidentally by members of the newly installed Pacification Police Unit (UPP) while on an errand to buy groceries, his family have said.
They claim that following the Botafogo and Vasco Taça Rio Final football (soccer) game, the police were shooting at a group nearby when the boy was hit.
According to the boy’s sister he is recovering well in hospital following an operation. The police say they are investigating the incident but add that they have received a number of contradictory reports of the event.
“The police are animals. They shoot a lot of children. There was no exchange of fire because the bad guys are no longer in the favela, only the police shoot,” the sister, who asked not to be named, told Globo.
However, Police Captain Márcio Ferreira Rodrigues said the police had received contradictory reports with some agreeing the boy was shot by a military police officer, but others saying a drug trafficker was responsible for the attack and someone even suggesting the injury was caused by an exploding firework.
The incident occurred just weeks after the installation of the first UPP in Complexo de Alemão.
Read more (in Portuguese).
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