Tuesday, March 27, 2012

I am not well versed about South America. I have 'known' two guys from Chile and a friend had a long fling with a rather nice guy from Brazil who we got to know quite well. Ah, there was that ex Ansett Airlines guy who hooked up for a while with a guy from Uruguay. I remember now. He made hats, for women to wear to the Melbourne Cup. There is a name for people who make hats. Maybe it will come to me. Milliner, that's it.

Anyway, I diverted before I even started the post. An innocent Brazilian lad was shot dead on the London Underground by over zealous police a some years ago.

I am in the state of Victoria, so NSW court laws don't apply. I will suggest that Sydney police killed a Brazilian too with a combo of capsicum gas and taser shots. The Sydney lad may have been behaving erratically and stolen a packet of biscuits, but it will be very interesting to know why the Sydney cops did him in.

It seems being Brazilian is dangerous.

But no country has shooting like the the US. A lad wearing a hoodie was shot dead by a vigilante. The lad's crime was that he was not white and he was walking through a gated community. If the reportage is correct, he was returning from the shop having bought some lollies for his younger brother. Fortunately, after a very poor police investigation and poor work by the prosecutor's office, the whole matter has blown up. America is not a third world country. Things like this ought not happen.

But neither Britain or Australia have clean hands, especially when it is law enforcement that does the killing.


  1. A definite over reaction that will probably be swept under the carpet or put at the very bottom of someones to hard basket :-).

  2. Some of our southern states are much like third world countries in that they have little education, lots of poverty, and corrupt governments. This tends to breed prejudice and stupid laws.

    Obviously, Trayvon was murdered. The police and/or courts just can't make up their mind if they want to prosecute the murderer regardless of all the evidence. Now, the media is hell bent on destroying the kids reputation. Sad.

  3. Australians largely don't study South American history or geography in school, concentrating instead on British Commonwealth, European, North American and Asian studies. Once you get past Brasil and Argentina, I think Australians would be hard pushed to know the location of any South American country on the map.

    On my Gap Year abroad (1000 years ago), all the southern hemisphere students were placed in the one programme - 18 Australians, New Zealanders and South Africans alongside 102 South Americans. You can imagine the culture shock. I had to quickly learn enough Spanish to survive the year :)

    It was the best year of my life!

    21-year-old Brasilian student Roberto Laudisio killed after being tasered by NSW police because they had been called out to a serious case and Roberto had been walking past at the time. He was on his way home after socialising with friends in King's Cross, saw the police pointing their tasers and ran away as fast as he could. So would I :(

    His devastated parents flew in from Brasil to take their lad home to bury him.

  4. I think it was a Brazilian who was also shot dead by UK law enforcers in the aftermath of the London underground attacks when he was mistaken for a terrorist. Yes, being Brazilian seems to be very dangerous indeed.

  5. I have to wonder at the psychological state the police are in to have such non-control as to taser someone multiple times and to let loose more than 1 shot at the main part of a body :(

  6. Hels, from memory it was the Brazilian's sister and an uncle who rushed to Sydney following his death not his parents. The poor lad's parents are deceased as we were reminded when our new Foreign Minister asked the Brazilian Ambassador to convey Australia's sympathy to them.

    Andrew - We have had our own police shooting only last Sunday in the food court of a major shopping centre of all places. Interestingly the police involvement (i.e.; that a policeman shot the deceased) was not mentioned in initial reports and only emerged hours later.

    I think the police have some questions to answer.

  7. Windsmoke, I don't normally read the US papers online, but I did check them this morning. I don't think that story is going away soon.

    Rubye, a pretty sad state of affairs. Damn guns in everyone's hands.

    Hels, I only learnt a bit about SA after I left school. That would have been a terrible culture shock for reserved ex English colony kids. The killing of innocent people, or even not so innocent for minor crimes reflects very badly on our police.

    Ad Rad, that is the one in England I am referring to. It was a gross overreaction.

    Ro, it rather defeats the purpose of tasers when they are used multiple times and kill someone.

    Victor, I heard about that but I never picked up that the police did the shooting. Sydney police have always had a lot to answer for. With Libs in power now, they will go crazy if they are anything like they were here under Kennet.

  8. Blithely unaware of what was happening in our own country, many of us grew up watching the events of the U.S. civil rights movement unfold on our grainy little black and white teles. Then the Rodney King thing happened and many of us were shocked into disbelief that "it" could still happen, and then the cops involved were acquitted.

    But there's a sneaky sort of censorship at play in a lot of these cases, because we don't get to see confronting footage of what happens.
    Remember the impact of some of those short clips of Vietnam?
    Now that's the sort of thing that would be real reality TV.

    Apparently the young man in the Sydney shopping mall was on parole, and his family had been trying frantically for a week and a half to get someone - anyone - to do something. I just can't imagine the impotent rage they must feel.
    Or the Brazilian families. Or the Martin family. No wonder people become disengaged.

  9. You know FruitCake, you have these life changing moments, and I was quite ignorant, but the Rodney King thing was quite a life changing moment for me. Benign America turned into something I did not understand. It was a long time ago now.

    Or the rage that the Sydney cops felt. There are underlying reasons why that happened.