The 51-year-old woman was trying to break up an altercation between a friend and the police.
By Amaya Woodley
Two police officers in São Paulo, Brazil, are being investigated after the video of a May 30 incident showed one of them standing on the neck of a Black woman, according to the New York Post.
Gov. João Doria made the announcement on Monday.
Video footage showed one of the officers wearing boots and standing on the 51-year-old woman’s neck who said she was trying to break up an altercation between a friend and the police.
The woman, who was identified as the owner of a bar, asked the police to stop hitting her friend before finding herself being restrained. She said her friend was being questioned by police as they were responding to a noise complaint outside of a bar that was supposed to be closed during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Then I asked the policeman not to hit him anymore because he was already passed out, lying on the floor,” the woman said.
The woman ended up with a broken neck, the Daily Mail reported.
“The more I struggled, the more he [cop] tightened the boot around my neck,” said the woman, according to the Daily Mail.
She was also treated for a broken leg and had multiple cuts requiring 16 stitches. Her lawyer said she passed out four times during the arrest.
BBC News reported that the unidentified woman was also placed in handcuffs and dragged across the pavement.
The officers have been suspended from the police force and face criminal charges, reports the Daily Mail. Although it is not clear what charges they are facing, the woman’s lawyer said the officer who stood on her neck should be charged with attempted murder.
Despite not announcing what charges the officers will face, Doria said he will not support police brutality.
“I want to make it clear that the state of São Paulo does not tolerate and will not tolerate any behavior that is violence practiced by the military police, the civil police, the fire department, or any other police that is under the command of the state of São Paulo,” Doria said.
“It is unacceptable that few compromise many. In other words, condemnable actions by a few compromise an organization with more than 80,000 police officers and who do their job well,” he said.
Doria added that at least 2,000 police officers in the force would be equipped with body cameras starting in August.
Back in June, the governor implemented a 20-day training program for officers to prevent the use of unnecessary force.
Doria’s announcement follows another incident in São Paulo where officers were seen on video choking a 19-year-old.