Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Olympic judo champion Rafaela Silva said she was stopped by police on a Rio de Janeiro road Friday and treated as “a bandit” because she is black.
Silva, who won gold in the 2016 Rio Olympics and has been an outspoken advocate of the poor, mostly black inhabitants of Rio’s tough favela neighborhoods, said she was on her way home from the airport when police stopped the taxi.
In a series of tweets, she said she was ordered out of the vehicle and questioned about where she worked, while the driver was questioned separately.
After the policeman recognized who she was, she was allowed to go. The taxi driver said he’d been told by a police officer that they wanted to stop the cab because they “thought (he) picked her up at a favela.”
While the incident unfolded on the busy avenue, “everyone was looking at me, thinking the police had caught a bandit, when it was just me, trying to get home,” Silva wrote.
“How far will this prejudice go?”