Sergipe, Brazil: Genivaldo de Jesus Santos dies in police custody after being held in a car filled with unknown gasoline

In a video purporting to show Wednesday’s incident, two federal highway police officers attempt to restrain Genivaldo de Jesus Santos, 38, to the ground.

Frames from the widely shared video are edited out, leaving gaps where it’s unclear what happened between the clips.

The following clip shows officers allegedly putting Santos in the trunk of a Federal Highway Patrol SUV. The individual appears to rebuff the officers’ efforts to get them fully into the car.

In another clip, officers are shown using the trunk of the police cruiser to immobilize the man’s legs as the vehicle fills with an unknown white smoke or gas. The trapped man is heard screaming. In another clip, officers are seen holding the man’s legs as the gas clears, and after about a minute and a half his legs appear to stop moving. Officers are seen holding the trunk of the vehicle closed.

Federal highway police in Sergipe state said in a statement that Santos “actively resisted” the officer’s approach with “aggressiveness” and that the officers had to use “immobilization techniques and instruments with low offensive potential” to contain it.

Police say the man “fell ill” while being driven back to the station and later died in hospital.

The Sergipe Coroner’s Office (IML) said in a statement that Santos died of asphyxiation but said “it was not possible to establish the immediate cause.” IML said it would conduct further examinations to establish “how the asphyxiation process unfolded”.

Police have opened an internal investigation into the case.

CNN contacted police to comment on the incident and why the man was arrested.


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