By A. Ernanny
Following Joao Pedro’s case last month in Rio de Janeiro, Brazilians were already well aware about police brutality as it surfaced the media in light of the George Floyd case. Unfortunately, last week, on June 2nd another case has been brought to public attention. Miguel da Silva, a 5-year-old black boy was brought to work with his mother, despite quarantine policies, as a housekeeper in an elite building in Recife. As the boy’s mother was ordered to walk the family’s dog, the 5-year-old was left under the couple’s supervision. But as the woman got increasingly tired of the child she left him unattended in the elevator and as it reached the 9th floor, where the building’s air conditioning machines were kept. The kid, naively climbed the equipment and fell to his death. The mother expressed her feelings saying her boss trusted her with her kids, and the moment she trusted her with he she had no patience to take care of him, which lead to his death at only 5 years of age. Mirtes, Miguel's mother, says her son was a child with many aspirations and dreamed of being a cop someday which may sound very ironic given the turmoil of police brutality that has been an issue for years.
Petitions were made in order to criminalize the woman that caused the death of the young innocent child, but this case is extremely complex as it is considered a culpable homicide, where it was not considered intentional, but omissive conduct of not taking care of a minor that was under her watch. This is one case that represents several others that are not brought to the public eye given its inclusion of a white rich woman against a domestic employee. The woman was able to buy her innocence with 20 thousand reais. It is hard to consider the case a homicide, but when the tables are turned and a black maid could have by mistake left the child of a white family unassisted leading to fatal death in an elevator, the blame could be more easily explicit and considered a homicide as explained by a lawyer.
The case has been gaining media recognition and attention as this is again, an example of the presence of structural racism in our society. The difference in the opportunities offered to white and black people are still noticeably distinct generating a vicious cycle of discrimination and utter violence.