Portuguese authorities investigate alleged police brutality against Benfica fan

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By Alexander Aucott
Portuguese authorities investigate alleged police brutality against Benfica fan

Portuguese authorities have launched an official investigation after a video of alleged police brutality went viral.

Jose Magalhaes says he had been allowed to leave a football match early with his 66-year-old father and two sons, aged nine and 13, because they were being crushed by the celebrating Benfica fans.

Their 0-0 draw in the away match meant they had won the title.

The video has been played widely on Portuguese TV and social media and caused a national scandal.

It shows Magalhaes resting on a low wall with his family outside the stadium when he says the police attacked him without reason:

“What I said, pointing to the stadium, was that he should be worried about what was happening inside because there were more people struggling, I was trying to explain that the situation had to be solved, and then I think it was those gestures that provoked the rest”

Magalhaes says his younger son has been left particularly traumatised by the incident. They had only stopped walking for a moment because he had asked for a break to drink some water.

“The only thing that Goncalo has been telling me at home is ‘Dad, if I had not been thirsty we would not have had that problem.’ This is the reason he’d been pointing, he was the guilty one, due to the fact that we had to ask for water, leave the stadium and that happened.”

In an initial hearing the policeman alleges Magalhaes was being abusive and spat at him, a claim Magalhaes denies.