A gay man was brutally beaten with a broomstick by his homophobic neighbour – then arrested and humiliated by police
Police were called to the scene over a brutal bust-up between neighbours in the northeastern state of Bahia, Brazil, where a gay man was verbally and physically attacked in his apartment building.
In a horrific which left the gay victim shaken, police arrested, handcuffed and humiliated him instead of his attacker, an incident he said captures the deep levels of homophobia sowed into Brazil.
Lorran Oliveira, a 21-year-old photographer, described in a Facebook post how he was hauled into the back of a police van in the Pontalzinho neighbourhood of Itaúna and cuffed inside the station.
All the while his attackers rode up-front and provided testimonies to authorities in the reception.
“Unfortunately we live in an extremely prejudiced society,” Oliveira said, saying he “recently moved to a new address and as always, I’ve become a laughing stock.”
Oliveira said that he, his boyfriend and three friends were at the door of his residence on Sunday (August 30) when his neighbour began to mockingly imitate their gestures. His boyfriend, Guilherme Ramos, approached the neighbour and a scuffle broke out between them.
She began screaming, Oliveira said, as he tried to mediate, but she launched into a volley of verbal and physical attacks against him. Her brother-in-law pinned him down, while she used a broomstick to pelt him.
Photographs attached with the post shows Oliveira bruised across his torso, with scratch marks on his cheek.
Panicked, Oliveira’s friend dialled the police. But even officers’ presence did little to stymie the neighbour, as she continued to hurl slurs at him.
Oliveira was left “shaking, crying and very afraid” after the attack, but the tension was ratcheted up as the officers jockeyed him into the back of the police van, treating him like a criminal, all the while his friends and partner pleaded against his apparent arrest.
“I was the victim!” he said.
Victim of homophobic attack left shaking and handcuffed to an iron bar in police station.
Taken to the 1st Territorial Police Station, Oliveira claimed he was handcuffed to an iron bar while his attackers provided their testimonies. “That’s right!” he said, “what about the perpetrator of the crimes?
“Standing in front of the front desk.”
He was only released when he was allowed to give his own testimony.
When approached for comment by G1 Brazil, the country’s state police agency Polícia Militar said “they both claimed to have been victims of mutual aggression, they were taken to the municipal police station”.
In a nation now seemingly inured to homophobia, anti-LGBT+ violence has increased in Brazil in recent years, LGBT+ watchdogs warn. Last year, Brazil was found to be the deadliest country for trans people, with some tallies suggesting that a trans person dies almost every day in a nation of 200 million.
This is unsurprising considering the rise of Jair Bolasonaro, the country’s president who is a self-described “proud homophobe”. He often singles out LGBT+ people for the kind of vitriol once directed by populist towards migrants in the last decade.