A bald, dark-skinned man with vitiligo patches on his hands and a gold tooth, was talking to himself in the queue at the post office, waiting for someone to give him some attention.
“You know what? I’m tired. I spent my whole life arresting people on the street. Right now I caught this kid, a child of this size”, he demonstrated but placing his palm adjacent to his waist. A woman standing in the queue sympathized. “Yeah, these are hard times”. Unrepentant, the man continued his rant.
“Hard? He stole the girl’s phone and punched her in the face! I keep saying, ‘people who walk with their cell phones in their hand are a walking target’. Today the target is: woman, alone with a phone in her hand.”
“I am a policeman, but it means nothing. If I arrest someone, the system will let him go because the child’s status as an adolescent guarantees the welfare of the offender. Do you think the statute was made for this kind of child? No one thought that of the kid living in the Favela da Maré who killed more than 15 people. He’s not worried about punching you in the face to steal your phone.”
The eloquent outburst made me sad because his work looked like a sand castle, he would build it up just for it all to be washed away. “Do you know what the problem with Brazil is?” He continued. “The lack of birth control. In Morro do Borel families have more than 10 children and not one social worker. Do you think a mother who lives on the favela can educate all these children? They turn to crime and that’s it. “
I left the shop and wished good luck to the policeman but felt crestfallen. My only way to help is to pass on this outburst and believe that one day everything will be better.
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