What are you looking at, cripple?

There was an interesting story that hit the news here in São Paulo at the end of last week. A policeman parked his car outside at shop using the space reserved for disabled people. As he got out of the car, a guy was passing in his wheelchair. The genuinely disabled guy commented to the policeman that as a more-than-able-bodied citizen he might leave the space free for those who need it.

The policeman responded by calling him a cripple who shouldn’t get involved in the business of others and he even hit the guy in the wheelchair. The intensity of the physical violence seems disputed. The disabled guy says he was punched and attacked and the policeman says he only gave a few slaps around the face.

Either way, even if the physical attack was at the lower-end “just a few slaps”, what public official has the right to shout verbal abuse and physically assault a citizen when they do nothing other than pointing out that the policeman is not showing any respect to the community by using a space reserved for the elderly and disabled?

The police officer has been suspended pending an inquiry. Under normal circumstances it might be normal to expect this to just get swept under the carpet, but this time the man in the wheelchair is a lawyer. Let’s hope he does not rest until he finds some justice.
Police on bicycles at Waterloo bridge

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