The Rio de Janeiro Civil Police was unable to identify which weapon the shot that killed 14-year-old João Pedro Matos Pinto came from, and indicted three civil police officers for attempted involuntary manslaughter, according to the corporation. The crime carries a penalty of up to three years in prison.
The teenager was killed on May 18, 2020 while playing with cousins and friends inside the family’s house in São Gonçalo, in the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro, during an incursion by Core (Coordination of Special Resources), a type of troop of elite of the Civil Police.
The six youths present said that, after a helicopter flew over the terrain, three agents broke into the residence, shooting, even though they had shouted that there were children. The policemen’s version is that criminals tried to escape by jumping over the wall of the property and João was shot in the confrontation.
“Two of the agents involved used weapons of the same caliber as the bullet that hit the victim. As the reports did not determine which weapon the projectile came from, the uncertainty means that neither of them can be held responsible for the shooting”, says the press office. of the institution’s press.
These two police officers are Mauro José Gonçalves and Maxwell Gomes Pereira. A third, Fernando de Brito Meister, used a weapon of a different caliber, but was also indicted for attempted murder “as it put the rest of the people there at risk”. Everyone continues to work at Core, including operations.
Investigators from the Homicide Police Station in Niterói and São Gonçalo understood that “the agents committed intentional homicide (attempted), and the fact was treated as culpable due to legal imposition. In other words, they were indicted for attempted involuntary homicide”.
This is because the conclusion was that “the police acted in error regarding the factual presuppositions of legitimate defense, assuming that there was an unjust current or imminent aggression that, in fact, there was no proof of its existence”.
According to public defender Fábio Amado, who represents João Pedro’s family, this means that the police’s interpretation was that the agents acted thinking they were in self-defense, assuming that there were criminals in the place, so they classified the fact as manslaughter .
“The investigation by the Civil Police took a long time and, in the view of Jão Pedro’s family, it was inefficient. It was not even able to indicate which of the police actually fired the shot,” he says.
Amado has just received the report of the inquiry and the report of the simulated reproduction and preferred not to comment yet on the understanding of the delegates.
The final police report goes to the Public Ministry, which investigates the case in parallel and only after completing its investigation will it decide whether or not to denounce the agents, and for what crimes. In April, the Federal Public Ministry also reopened an investigation into the death, which is still ongoing.
JoãoThe death of João Pedro was cited by Minister Edson Fachin, of the Federal Supreme Court, when the court decided to restrict police operations in the favelas of Rio to “exceptional situations” in June 2020, and determined a series of measures to be complied with on these incursions.
According to the Public Defender’s Office, the investigation was practically at a standstill when it completed one year, about three weeks ago. “It has been paralyzed practically since the reconstitution, in October, and since then even the report [da simulação] was ready,” said defender Daniel Lozoya at the time.
Since his death, the Public Defender’s Office has denounced a series of irregularities in the investigation. Among them are changes to the crime scene such as the removal of the victim’s body without family monitoring and grenades that were taken, inspected and destroyed by Core itself.
A 15-year-old girl was also taken in a caveirão to testify without legal representatives, and the place of death was not properly isolated, with evidence left behind, they say. In addition, police officers changed their versions about the weapons used and the number of shots fired during the investigation.
According to Amado, the testimonies of those involved have many differences that still have to be resolved. “There are many clashes between what the police and the young people who were in the house narrated.”