A Brazilian transgender woman was stripped and had her head shaved and face disfigured in a brutal police beating.
Veronica Bolina was arrested on Sunday (12 April) for assaulting an elderly women in her apartment building in SÃ£o Paulo and put in a male prison.
For reasons not yet clear, the model got into a fight with a police officer during a cell transfer and bit off half his ear.
Disturbing pictures circulating on Brazilian social media show her with cuffs on her hands and feet, head shaved, breasts exposed and face disfigured from the battering she received from several officers.
One blogger noted that nearly every news outlet that covered the incident misgendered her and focused on her biting off the cop’s ear, with no mention of police brutality.
Audio was later released of Bolina denying being tortured by the cops and claiming she needed to be restrained.
A female voice, belonging to HeloÃsa Alves, coordinator of Policies for Sexual Diversity for SÃ£o Paulo state, can be heard prompting her in the background.
Alessandro Melchior, coordinator of LGBTI policies in the city of SÃ£o Paulo, has since said that Bolina told him that she was attacked more than once – even in hospital while receiving treatment for the injuries she received from police.
The incident has caused outrage among Brazilian LGBTI activists and supporters, who accuse the officers of transphobia.
Many are showing their support for Bolina oneline using the hashtag #SomosTodasVeronica, or We Are All Veronica.
Brazil is the most dangerous place on Earth to be transgender. Last year, 113 trans people were murdered in the country, half of all reported trans murders in the world.