Monday, June 29, 2020

Lawyer Eva Leal, the George Floyd of Venezuela

Eva Leal, a Venezuelan attorney who was stopped at a checkpoint by the Bolivarian National Guard on June 23, 2020 at 3:20 p.m., was accused of violating the nationwide curfew in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.  Officers demanded that she pay a "fine" for violating the curfew.  She reported admitted that she was out past curfew but, as a lawyer, demanded to know when the government had imposed a fine for being out past curfew.

The situation grew tense when Leal took out her mobile phone and began filming the exchange.  She suspected that there was no fine and that the officers were looking for a bribe.  She was  pulled out of her car and beaten in the street attracting an outraged crowd.  In the video the female officer can be seen pressing Leal into the ground and bashing her head.  She also seems to be putting pressure on her neck triggering comparisons with George Floyd at the hands of the police.  Members of the crowd in the video can be heard shouting "They cracked her head," "you are killing her."

The Bar Association of the State of Lara where the actions occurred issued a statement saying that the  Bolivarian National Guard had acted disproportionately in this case.  Leal was detained and will be presented to a Military Tribunal.  She denounced that at least six members of the National Guard participated in the aggression that was videotaped by other witnesses.  Maria de los Angeles Palmera, the female lieutenant of the Bolivarian National Guard seen in the video, has been detained for the crime of using force in attacking a woman on the street.

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