Thousands of protesters have attacked a Carrefour Brasil supermarket in the southern Brazilian city of Porto Alegre after security guards beat a Black man to death at the store.
According to a local media which cited the Rio Grande do Sul state military police, the killing, which has sparked protests across Brazil, occurred late on Thursday when a store employee called security after the man threatened to attack her.
The victim was identified in local media by his father as 40-year-old Joao Alberto Silveira Freitas.
News website G1 later reported that an initial analysis by the state forensics institute indicated the cause of death could be asphyxiation.
In a statement on Friday, the local unit of France’s Carrefour SA said it deeply regretted what it called a brutal death and said it immediately took steps to ensure those responsible were legally punished.
It said it would terminate the contract with the security firm, fire the employee in charge of the store at the time of the incident, and close the store as a mark of respect.
In a series of tweets in Portuguese on Friday night, the Chairman and CEO of Carrefour, Alexandre Bompard, said that the images posted on social media were “unbearable.”
“Internal measures have immediately been implemented by the Carrefour Brazil, notably towards the security company involved. These measures do not go far enough. My values and the values of Carrefour do not allow for racism and violence,” Bompard said.
“I have asked the teams of Carrefour Brazil to fully cooperate with judicial authorities to get to the bottom of this odious action,” he added
He called for a complete review of employee and sub-contractors’ training on security, diversity and tolerance values.