Al Jazeera | Rights groups say there were record number of police killings and racial violence in the Brazilian city in 2018.
‘Franco was important voice’
Raull Santiago, resident and community leader of Complexo do Alemao, said he believes most police aggression is motivated by racism and prejudice.
“Historically they always tried to control the black, poor communities. Today the war on drugs is their excuse for the violent control of our bodies,” he told Al Jazeera.
He added the only dialogue the government offers is “through the barrel of a gun”.
Santiago explained that is why Franco was so important. Because she was “a black, lesbian ‘favelada’ woman occupying a space of power that was always taken by men” and who dared to speak up.
“I believe that’s why she became a target,” he said.