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Angry chants of “Death to Police” mark funeral of youngster shot in head by PSP in Bairro do Cerco

Chaotic scenes marked yesterday’s funeral of the 16-year-old ‘accidentally shot in the head by PSP police’ following a break-in on a Porto café (click here)

Tensions were already high before two incidents which inflamed the crowd into all kinds of angry rants.

“Death to police!” was the most commonly heard, writes national tabloid Correio da Manhã, which today brings a round-up of all the situations involving teen beatings and aggressions in recent weeks.

One ray of sunshine on the horizon is that in Ponte de Sor – the Alentejan community thrust into the limelight after a 15-year-old was brutally beaten after an altercation with the son’s of Iraq’s ambassador to Portugal – developments are positive.

Rúben Cavaco may be fit enough to leave hospital within the next few days, writes CM – while jornali explains that the badly-disfigured boy’s family appears to be in negotiations with the Iraqi embassy over compensation.

But first to Porto, where the funeral of André Gomes became extremely ugly.

The principal upsets were caused by the arrival of the boy’s father on a special dispensation from jail, where he is serving time.

“Various threats to police were left in the air”, says CM – and the dead boy’s family appear to blame his older accomplices, not only for taking him along with them in the raid but for leaving him behind in the car in which he was fatally shot.

CM reveals that the PSP who fired the bullet appears to have been “falling” at the time. “The gun went off unexpectedly”, says the paper.

PJ detectives are investigating, while the PSP agents involved are both still to be questioned.

But the major furore in the proceedings was the arrival of a 19-year-old thought to be one of the four youths involved in the café raid.

Friends of André Gomes are described as having turned on the youth, blaming him for the younger boy’s death.

The 19-year-old – still apparently on the run from police – had to be escorted back to his car by funeral goers.

Also reportedly still on the run as a result of the incident is a young man known as Armando, who lives in Braga, says CM.

FRIENDS OF SLAIN 14-YEAR-OLD “PROMISE REVENGE”

Meantime, in Gondomar, the funeral of another slain teen – 14-year-old Hugo Gonçalves (click here) – has seen an outbreak of threats on Facebook, writes CM.

“We are still all in shock”, Nuno Coelho, president of the parish council, told the paper, guaranteeing that he was sure “justice will work, and nothing will happen”, regarding the anger playing out over social media.

Gonçalves’ alleged attacker, another youth believed to be only 16 years old, is currently in preventive custody facing charges of qualified murder.

RÚBEN CAVACO: FAMILY ‘OPEN TO DEAL WITH IRAQI EMBASSY’

“The strategy is to act with reason and not with emotion”, explains jornali this (Friday) morning.

“The defence considers that prison for the Iraqi twins will serve very little. What is fundamental is that there should be compensation”.

The paper adds: “The family of Rúben Cavaco will not be tough about justice for the sons of the Iraqi ambassador. Jornal i knows that the defence strategy will move towards deciding at each step what is the best outcome so that the damages caused to the youngster can be repaired”.

A source for the family has told i: “What use will it be for us if they (the twins) are sent to jail?”

Thus, although still left open, Portugal’s request to Iraq to lift the boys’ diplomatic status so that they can be fully questioned as arguidos (official suspects) in the attack may simply be allowed to ‘fall by the wayside’ as both parties attempt to come up with a resolution that suits everybody.

As this new direction in the dismal story is mooted, news of Rúben’s recovery is also hopeful.

The youngster is already back to looking “like he used to look”, a family member told the paper, though he is still “full of scars, bruises, and has drains to remove the blood from his head. Today, when we look at him, he is very similar to the way he looked before”.

The boy was subjected to intricate facial reconstruction surgery in the first few hours after his emergency admission (click here), and he faces months of dental interventions to replace the broken teeth he suffered – almost all them at the front, says i.

But the future is still uncertain. Whether or not Rúben faces ‘lifetime consequences’ is what neurological, ophthalmological and MRI tests being carried out this week hope to determine.

If Correio da Manhã is correct, the youngster who came so close to death on that horrific night in Ponte de Sor, “could be given the all-clear to leave hospital next week”.

Needless to say, the PJ investigation into what exactly went on – and who was involved – continues.

As we have explained in previous stories, the twins’ account that they beat Rúben in an act of self-defence is not being accepted on face value, and investigators believe a third party – a security guard working for the Iraqi embassy – may have been involved.

But until police can question the twins as arguidos – or until officers are able to properly question Rúben – these issues remain hypotheses.

Both CM and Jornal i continue to stress that Rúben appears to have no recollection of the attack and has yet to be considered fit enough to talk to police.

natasha.donn@algarveresident.com

PHOTO: www.jn.pt