More than a thousand demonstrators attacked the “Carrefour” store in Porto Alegre, southern Brazil, and protests erupted across the country, Friday, following the murder of a black man after he was severely beaten by security guards at the store.
The “Globo News” news channel quoted the military police in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, that the murder that sparked the protests took place late on Thursday evening when a store employee called the security after the man threatened to attack her.
Some shoppers posted footage of the fatal beating and a tribute to the Carrefour’s black victim on social media.
Local media reports said the victim was 40-year-old and called Joao Alberto Silvera Freitas.
The G1 news website later reported that a preliminary analysis by the state’s Forensic Medical Institute pointed out that the cause of death may be suffocation.
The French subsidiary of “Carrefour” in Brazil said in a statement, Friday, that it “deeply regrets” what it described as “this brutal death,” and said that it had taken immediate steps to ensure that those responsible were punished according to the law.
The statement added that the store would terminate the contract with the security company, fire the employee in charge of the store at the time of the accident, and close the store as a sign of respect.
In Porto Alegre, on Friday afternoon, demonstrators distributed posters with the slogan “Carrefour” stained with blood, called for a boycott of the chain, and raised a sign in Portuguese that read “Black lives matter” and signs calling for retribution for the victim.
The protest turned into violence on Friday evening when the demonstrators smashed windows and delivery cars in the parking area in “Carrefour”, and a witness from “Reuters” saw the police firing tear gas at the protesters.
In Sao Paulo, dozens of protesters smashed the facades of the “Carrefour” store with stones, took off the front doors, and stormed the building before dispersing.
Also in Rio de Janeiro, nearly 200 protesters gathered chanting slogans in front of another branch of the well-known supermarket chain.