Brazilian police reporter's questions get her kicked out of city hall

Fátima Souza, a Brazilian police reporter for Rede Record, was expelled from an interview with a municipal leader in Franco da Rocha in the state of São Paulo on Saturday, Sept. 24.

According to Portal Imprensa, the reporter was kicked out of the meeting and insulted by the head of the Franco da Rocha delegation, Luís Roberto Faria Hellmeister, when she asked about the case of ex-soccer referee Oscar Roberto Godói, who had been run over by a car earlier that day.

In a statement, Souza said, "Hellmeister didn't seem very happy with my questions but that's my job as a journalist. As my last question I asked, 'Doctor, you said that if this were a nobody the press wouldn't be here; but if it were a nobody, would you be here? Would you have left your house on a weekend day to oversee the event?' That's when he lost it. He jumped out of his chair pointing his finger at me and started screaming like a crazy person, 'You are a sham of a reporter! [...] as long as I'm on this delegation, you won't set a foot in this place!"

The Syndicate of Professional Journalists of the State of São Paulo called the delegate's attitude "unacceptable" and asked for an immediate retraction. "As a servant with the responsibility that his post demands, the delegate had no right to remove any citizen, much less a journalist doing her job in a public place," the union argued.

The same weekend that Souza was expelled from the municipality, another reporter from the newspaper Estadão was arrested after challenging his own expulsion from a police office in Rio de Janeiro.