Three federal highway police officers involved in the murder of Genivaldo de Jesus Santos, in Sergipe last year, were dismissed by the Ministry of Justice. He was killed in the coastal town of Umbaúda, after being trapped in the trunk of a Federal Highway Police (PRF) vehicle and inhaling a large amount of gas, introduced into the vehicle by the agents themselves.
The decision to dismiss William Noia, Kleber Freitas and Paulo Rodolpho was announced by the Minister of Justice, Flávio Dinom this Monday (14). “I am signing the resignation of 3 federal road police officers who, in 2022, illegally caused the death of Mr. Genivaldo, in Sergipe, when carrying out a traffic inspection”, he said in a publication on social networks.
“We don’t want police to die in clashes or illegally kill people. We are working with States, civil society and corporations to support good procedures and remove those who do not comply with the law, improving everyone’s safety”, highlighted the head of the portfolio.
According to Dino, the Ministry decided to review the doctrine and procedure manuals of the Federal Highway Police, to improve and eliminate “possible flaws and gaps”. The agents involved in the execution of Santos must be judged by popular jury.
Gas chamber inside a PRF vehicle kills a man on the coast of Sergipe; read repercussion
Genivaldo was killed on May 25 last year in a traffic approach, which according to the corporation, would have occurred because the victim was driving a motorcycle without a helmet. At the time, the PRF claimed that the man “actively” resisted the action of the police and that, due to Genivaldo’s “aggressiveness”, “less offensive potential” instruments were used to take him to the police station.
However, videos recorded and disseminated by the local population show that Santos was immobilized by three agents, placed inside the trunk and suffocated to death. One of the officers holds the vehicle door over the man’s legs and presses down to make sure he doesn’t escape.
Still in the first manifestation about the crime, the Highway Police stated that he would have felt sick on the way to the police station. However, the images show that he was no longer moving minutes after he was placed in the makeshift gas chamber.
The repercussions of the case led the PRF to change its discourse days after the murder. On video, the then general coordinator of institutional communication for the PRF declared that the corporation did not agree with the measures adopted and that it would collaborate with the investigations.
In October 2022, the Federal Court accepted a complaint from the Federal Public Ministry (MPF) against the three police officers who participated in the action. They were accused of abuse of authority, torture and aggravated homicide.
According to the MPF, the victim had injuries on the cheekbones, ears, neck, eyebrows, elbows, knees, hands, feet and wrists. The forensic report stated that the man did not threaten the police or react to the approach, “maintained a defensive position and followed the commands verbalized by the police, only verbally questioning the reason for the aggression”.
Hearings of the Genivaldo case in the Federal Court begin this Tuesday, in Sergipe
Also according to the complaint, Paulo Rodolpho Nascimento triggered a tear gas grenade and threw it at the vehicle. Then, Nascimento and William Noia prevented the departure of Genivaldo de Jesus dos Santos for almost two minutes. He died of mechanical asphyxiation from exposure to irritating agents.
For the MPF, the agents disregarded “the wide range of circumstances indicating the imminent death of Genivaldo as a result of the conduct perpetrated by them” and also “disregarded the warnings of people who were nearby and the painful reaction of the victim subjected to the effects of the gas “.
Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho