Three Brazil police officers have been arrested after dragging 38-year-old Claudia Ferreira da Silva behind a squad car after she was shot during a shootout between police and suspects in Congonha, a shanty-town in Rio.
De Silva was an innocent bystander simply walking to work when she was shot.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Ms. da Silva had been hit by a bullet during a shootout Sunday between police and bandits in Rio’s Congonha slum. The three officers who “participated in the rescue” of Ms. da Silva were arrested on charges of “disciplinary transgression” as soon as authorities found out what had happened, police said, noting that a separate investigation could bring additional charges.”
The three officers threw de Silva into the back of the vehicle, allegedly to take her to a nearby hospital. En route, she fell out of the vehicle and was dragged approximately 1,000 feet.
After stopping at a red light, the officers realized they were dragging de Silva, so they hopped out and dumped her back in before speeding off.
She was pronounced dead at the hospital.
“They thought she was a criminal and that is why they took her away. It wasn’t to save her life,” her daughter, Tais Lima, told O Globo newspaper.
“They grabbed my mother by the legs and dumped her in the boot like an animal. They didn’t even bother to check if the boot was properly closed. That is not the attitude of someone who is trying to help.”
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Tuesday via her official Twitter account:
Cláudia da Silva Ferreira tinha 4 filhos, era casada havia 20 anos e acordava de madrugada para trabalhar em um hospital, no Rio.
“Claudia’s death shocked the country,” read the tweets in English. “[She] had four children, had been married 20 years and woke up in early in the morning to go work at a hospital in Rio. “At this time of sadness and pain, I stand with Claudia’s family and friends.”
Sergio Cabral, the governor of Rio de Janeiro state, called the officers’ actions “repulsive,”. reports the BBC.
“They acted inhumanely. The least that should happen to them is being expelled from the police force,” Cabral said.