21 year-old Roberto Laudisio Curti, a Brazilian student, was killed by police in Sydney, in the state of New South Wales (NSW), Australia, in the early hours of March 18. According to reports, at around 5:30 AM, Laudisio was shot at least three times by police taser guns before collapsing on the street. He was unable to be revived and died at the scene.
What could have caused police to act this way? It turns out the Brazilian man allegedly stole a packet of biscuits.
Executed On Suspicion Of Stealing Biscuits
That’s right: Laudisio Curti was tasered merely on suspicion of taking biscuits from a convenience story in Sydney. According to eyewitness reports the man who stole the biscuits was confused and rambling. He reportedly asked for someone to “Help me” before fleeing with the item.
From The Rio Times:
Workers at the convenience store who saw the security footage told The Telegraph Australia,”He came in once and then was told to get out. He came back about ten minutes later and climbed over the security door and was inside the area where the attendant is supposed to be safe,” one worker said.
“You can see him in the footage talking a lot. He said the world was going to end and to help him. He doesn’t have a shirt on. He grabs a packet of biscuits before opening the door and going out.”
According to several news sources, after hearing from the shop attendant that Curti had acted strangely at the store and run out without paying for a small package, six police officers chased him down and used deadly force, even though Curti was unarmed and did nothing to threaten anyone’s life. Following a set of three shocks, he was knocked to the pavement and could not be revived.
Remember Unarmed Brazilian Jean Charles de Menezes Killed By Police In London?
This sounds chillingly like the fatal shooting by police of Jean Charles de Menezes, also an unarmed Brazilian national, at Stockwell underground station in London in 2005. In that case, the family eventually received compensation money from the police, along with an apology and the declaration that de Menezes was totally innocent and in no way to blame for his death.
Like the de Menezes family, Curti’s family are demanding a full inquiry into the circumstances of death. Joao Eduardo Laudisio, Curti’s uncle and a financier from a well-known and powerful family in Brazil, hit at NSW police as the family hired a team of Australian investigators to find out how his nephew died.
Roberto “Very Healthy”
He said he had personally taken Roberto for a thorough health check before Roberto left for Australia last year. Doctors at the hospital, one of the best in South America, had declared him “very healthy”. Roberto had no pre-existing condition that could have been aggravated by taser jolts or capsicum spray.
Brazilian consulate officials in Sydney confirmed his family was “extremely wealthy and well connected” and would not let the matter rest.
Whatever it takes, this killing is an outrageous event, and the police must be held accountable, however long it takes.
Indymedia in Sydney says this is one incident “that cannot be allowed to pass without a strong response.”
Take Action Now!
If you agree that the New South Wales police must be held accountable, please sign our petition demanding justice for Roberto Laudisio Curti and strict control of police taser use.
Photo Credit: betta design
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