Cultural Producer and Data Scientist

The justice of Rio de Janeiro determined this Thursday (8) the release of data scientist Raoni Lázaro Barbosa, who was mistakenly arrested for more than 20 days, accused of being part of a militia in Duque de Caxias, in the Baixada Fluminense.

In the investigation, the police accused Raoni of being responsible for collecting fees from residents and merchants of Caxias in a group of militiamen that included military police officers.

Raoni’s recognition was done by photo. According to the portal G1, the image used in the investigation was that of a man identified as Raony, known as Gago, and named as a member of the militia. The man has no connection with the imprisoned youth.

Raoni works for a multinational and is a data scientist graduated from PUC-RJ with specialization at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the United States. The young man has been married for four years and lives in Campo Grande, on the west side of Rio. According to his defense, he has never lived in Duque de Caxias.

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The police acknowledged the error. The Police Office for the Repression of Criminal Actions (Draco) informed that the witnesses canceled the recognition and that the delegate responsible for the case has already asked the court to revoke the arrest of Raoni Lázaro Barbosa.

The Civil Police Secretariat, on the other hand, stated that it has set up an internal investigation to investigate the case, because the orientation of the current management of the portfolio is for photographic recognition to be one of the elements of the police investigation, and not the only determining factor to ask for the arrest of suspects.

error sequence

Raoni’s case is not isolated. Last week, after being unfairly imprisoned for 363 days, 28-year-old cultural producer Ângelo Gustavo was also released for lack of evidence in the accusation of participating in a car theft in 2014. The Rio de Janeiro Court of Justice ( TJRJ), by four votes to three, acquitted Ângelo.

A controversial investigation carried out by the victim of the robbery on social networks pointed to the cultural producer as one of those involved in the crimes, after a photographic recognition made at the police station, the victim incriminated Ângelo.

However, the young man’s family and the Brazilian Bar Association Rights Commission (OAB) listed a series of errors.

Among them, the fact that the producer was in a church at the time of the crime. In addition, Angelo was recovering from lung surgery and was also never heard during the investigations. And the most serious, according to the OAB: it was recognized by a photo on a social network in a parallel investigation carried out by the victim of the robbery.

Read more: Fighting for the end of prison is fighting genocide

The case of the cultural producer generated a lot of mobilization. The day before the trial, which took place on August 31, the boy’s family held a demonstration in Largo do Machado, in the south of Rio de Janeiro, to ask for his freedom.

The campaign “Justice for the innocents”, by the OAB-RJ in conjunction with the collective of artists 342Arts, which brings together names like Caetano Veloso and the Ninja Media, by the end of arrests of innocents based solely on recognition by photography, also had Angelo as one of the protagonists.


Last week, the National Council of Justice (CNJ) created a group to think about how to end these injustices. According to the president of the CNJ, Minister Luiz Fux, the idea is to create a regulation that can serve as a basis for the Brazilian Judiciary.

“There is no greater violation of the human person than placing an absolutely innocent person in the prison system for a year,” said Luiz Fux, president of the STF and the CNJ.

Source: BoF Rio de Janeiro

Edition: Jaqueline Deister

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