Hundreds protest in Lisbon following shooting of Black actor

Lisbon protests1
A protester holds a sign reading “Say no to racism” during an anti-racism protest in honour of Bruno Cande in Lisbon, Portugal.

Hundreds of anti-racism protesters took over one of Lisbon’s main squares on Friday to demand justice for Bruno Cande, a Black actor shot dead in a busy street last weekend.

Cande, 39 and of Guinean origin, was shot several times by a white man in his eighties at Avenida de Moscavide, around 10 km from Lisbon’s city centre, according to police.

A suspect was detained and is awaiting trial.

Portugal’s criminal investigation police agency, the PJ, has not confirmed what motivated the attack.

Cande’s family said in a statement on Saturday the suspect had threatened to kill him three days before the shooting and used racist slurs.

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“Why are we here and unable to live in peace? We are working, paying our taxes. Why are they always killing black people?” 32-year-old protester Sofia Rodrigues asked among the crowd.

During the peaceful demonstration, protesters wearing masks due to the coronavirus outbreak held signs saying “Justice!” and “Racism kills!”

In Guinea-Bissau, lawmakers passed a motion saying the murder was racially motivated and said they would send a delegation to discover what happened to Cande.

The case has put a spotlight on racism in Portugal, including frictions with police.

“From authorities to day-to-day life, Portugal remains a racist country,” said 65-year-old Eduardo Henriques who also at the protest.

Europe’s main rights forum, the Council of Europe, said in a 2018 report there were numerous serious accusations of racist violence by Portuguese police.

Last year, a court found eight officers guilty of kidnapping and beating up six young people from Cova da Moura, a predominantly black neighbourhood in the outskirts of Lisbon.

There are several poor neighbourhoods around the capital where migrants mostly from Portugal’s African ex-colonies live.

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