Cláudia Simões is not alone

Sadness, shame and deep revolt are felt at the Sintra Court’s decision on the case of Claúdia Simões, the woman who was brutally attacked by a police officer at a bus stop in Amadora, in the face of the passivity of two others agents, due to the fact that he forgot his daughter’s pass, then eight years old, and that she was then beaten in a patrol car while she heard, in the PSP vehicle, “scream now, you son of a bitch, black, monkeys. You are rubbish, shit”, from the mouth of agent Carlos Canha.

The entire trial was a succession of horrors, humiliations, prejudices, dehumanization, mockery and violence on the part of the judge towards the victim of the attacks, as had already been done.marked Paula Cardoso. Now, the outcome was a conviction of the victim and the acquittal of the aggressor, who was only convicted for having beaten two other citizens, also black, witnesses to the case who were watching the scene in the bus stop and tried to stop her or filmed her. They were kidnapped to the police station by the same Carlos Canha, who punched and kicked them in the face because, according to the judge, “when he decompressed, he ended up being impulsive†.

“We were far from imagining that, after what they did to our mother, on January 19, 2020, she would be portrayed in this court as savage, arrogant and exaggerated, even in the face of all the evidence. The victim did not can be turned into a culprit”, stated one of Cláudia Simões’ daughters at the end of the trial.

What happened is very bad.

First, due to the disproportionate use of force by the police, responsible for our security. It is never too much to remember that we assign to the police the function of exercising, in the name of the State, the monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force. Therefore, whoever has this power is obliged to use it with the utmost criteria of respect for the law, the Constitution, adequacy and proportionality. You are obliged, in short, to know and respect the law, instead of grossly violating it. What happened that day at the stop was exactly the opposite, as anyone who has seen the videos of the attacks can confirm. On the other hand, shouldn’t a police station be a place where we feel safe, rather than a place where we are victims of crime?

Secondly, the case is serious because of the structural racism it reveals and confirms. If she hadn’t been a black woman, if she hadn’t been in a career at Amadora, if she hadn’t been a poor woman, obviously Cláudia Simões would not have been treated the way she was, even if she had been in the exact circumstances. He had forgotten his daughter’s pass. To the violence of the action were added the racist insults against “the black girl†by agent Carlos Canha. Added to this was the normalization of violence by the then director of the PSP, Magina da Silva, who, faced with images of obvious disproportion, was quick to declare that he had seen “nothing unusual†and which excused police racism. This entire dimension was entirely evacuated from the process and the trial.

Thirdly, this outcome is serious due to the evident injustice of Justice. As reports Expressojudge Catarina Pires considered that “no one did harm to Cláudia Simões; Cláudia Simões was the one who did not pay the ticket that was hers to pay, because forgetting her daughter’s pass was not an imputation Vimeca was not even required to be aware of its existence, it was attributable to that girl’s mother, still a child.” About the trauma of the child who saw her mother being beaten. , the judge declared: “your daughter’s crying is due to her mother.â€

Regarding the case, the judge accused Claúdia Simões of “posing as a victim” in order to “obtain a large amount of compensation”, in a process promoted by the anti-racist “movement”. In addition to the humiliations inflicted on Cláudia Simões during the trial, Catarina Pires’ sentence sanctioned violent practices on the part of the police forces, ignored racist insults, accused the victim of bad faith ©, delegitimized the anti-racist movement and amplified the racial violence that exists in our society. Where Claúdia Simões should have found protection, she received yet another set of insults.

“I felt like I was going to die. I was defending my life. There are videos of this. I was punished on public roads, he took me in the car, he did what he wanted and they still blame me?†asks Cláudia Simões, in Público. And he announced that he will appeal this sentence, which goes “even if it is to the end of the world†. We owe you unequivocal support in this process. Cláudia Simões is not alone


Francesco Giganti

Journalist, social media, blogger and pop culture obsessive in newshubpro

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