The civil police of Rio de Janeiro considered that the Colombian midfielder Juan Pablo Ramírez, del Bahia, committed a “racial insult” against the midfielder Gerson, from Flamengo, during a Brasileirao match in December, a crime that is punishable by up to three years in prison, the authority reported Thursday.
Ramírez, 23, who vehemently denies the facts, was indicted by the police, so the prosecution must now decide, based on the report and the police investigation, whether to file a formal complaint against the midfielder.
“The investigations verify the dynamics of the event and the version of the victim, from the moment he said he had suffered the abusive assault due to prejudice until his behavior after the end of the match,” the police said in a statement.
The Racial Crimes and Crimes of Intolerance Commissariat (Decradi, in Portuguese) reached this conclusion after listening to testimonies and analyzing party images “which prove Gerson’s immediate indignation upon hearing the racial offense.”
Gerson assures that Ramírez told him “shut your mouth, black” during the clash between Flamengo and Bahia on December 20, which the Mengaos won 4-3 at Maracana, for the 26th day of the Brasileirao.
As soon as he heard the alleged insult, the midfielder angrily claimed the Colombian and then Bahia coach, former Brazilian coach Mano Menezes.
The Brazilian midfielder made the accusation before the media just after the match and then before the Superior Court of Sports Justice and the police. Both institutions opened separate processes.
In a press release, Bahia regretted that his player was indicted although he assured that it does not “cause surprise” due to “notorious biases” in favor of Gerson by the commissioner handling the case.
The Bahian team alleges that the official referred to Gerson as “our player.”
“The club had access to the integrity of the testimonies collected in the investigation and can assure society and the tricolor fans that the decision was absolutely devoid of any probative basis,” he said.
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Bahia, who removed Ramírez while investigating the case but later reinstated him for “lack of evidence,” said he will defend the presumption of innocence of his athlete.
Gerson’s accusations gave rise to a wave of declarations of repudiation against the racial offense, which in Brazil, where almost 55% of the population declares themselves black or mulatto, is liable to one to three years in prison or fines.