…The Case Adds To Other Related Episodes Of Police Violence
The Angolan National Police officers shot dead 23-year-old José Teokamba Manuel on 12 July while enforcing confinement measures due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to local media.
Maurício José, 17, who was with Manoel at the time, was shot in the shoulder and taken to hospital by the police themselves. He has already been discharged.
The incident took place in Maianga District, in the capital Luanda. A National Police communiqué said that officers were on patrol when they came across a crowd of young people at an unauthorized time and place, reports newspaper O País.
The National Police spokesman, Nestor Goubel, acknowledged that the shots were fired by officers, according to Observador, and he added that the agents responsible were detained and will be punished.
Manuel’s funeral was marked by protests by local residents. There were barricades on the main road and the police were called to disperse them.
Activist and academic Miguel de Barros, who is from Guinea-Bissau, posted a video of the protests. The video is of the protest in Luanda after José Teokamba Manuel’s death:
Angola has been witnessing cases of police violence in the capital Luanda since it declared a state of emergency because of the pandemic.
In May, 21-year-old António Domingos Vilola was killed by a gunshot to the head after police approached a group of people on the street without masks, Voice of America (VoA) reported. According to the victim’s relatives, a National Police officer shot Vilola after he said he had no mask. In a statement, the National Police accused the youths of resisting and “moving to attack the forces of law and order.”
In April, a video was shared online of police officers violently assaulting people after they supposedly failed to comply with confinement measures.
The journalist and writer Victor Hugo Mendes shared, on Facebook, a text by Dilson Barros, condemning the incident with José Teokamba Manuel:
Another person dies from police violence. It was a week ago that young José Kilamba Rangel, 23 years old, was killed in the Prenda neighbourhood because he was supposedly not wearing a mask.
Not the first, nor the second, nor even the third. There have been many. Police violence against defenceless people is escalating before our eyes. Since the death of street vendor Juliana Cafrique, several innocent people have died.
The questions we ask are: 1. until when will we see these deaths? 2. what will the state be doing to prevent these types of deaths from happening again? It is not enough to detain and judge the officers, it is necessary to make a plan with concrete measures to reduce the likelihood of this type of event occurring, from the training of officers to their weapons and control.
I remind you that the police should protect citizens and be synonymous with security and not a cause of death for defenceless people who, completely unarmed, pose no threat to uniformed and armed men…
I am surprised at the authorities’ silence in the face of so many deaths, at a time when police violence is the cause of a wave of demonstrations around the world following the death of George Floyd by a policeman.