The Rio de Janeiro police department has suspended four officers caught on video beating journalists during an anti-World Cup protest held on July 13, the last day of the tournament.
A press officer at the Rio police department said Wednesday the four officers “will remain suspended until the conclusion of the investigation of their supposed wrongdoing.” He would not elaborate. The press officer spoke on condition of anonymity, citing departmental rules.
Bernardo Moura, a spokesman for the Rio de Janeiro journalists’ union, said 15 journalists were injured at the protest including a Canadian, Peruvian and Italian and two Brazilians working for foreign news agencies. None of the 15 were seriously injured.
In a statement, the union said the journalists were covering a demonstration of about 200 people protesting the enormous amounts of money Brazil spent to host the World Cup. The demonstrators said that money should instead be invested in infrastructure and social institutions like hospitals, schools and transportation projects.
“For two hours journalists and protesters were not allowed to leave the Saens Pena Plaza (where the rally was held) and had put up with the physical aggressions and tear gas of the police,” the statement said.