This weekend, Benfica fan José Magalhães attended an away match against Vitória Guimarães with his son and father. Outside of the stadium, he was thrown to the ground and repeatedly hit by a nightstick before being arrested by police. While the police allege he behaved in an unruly fashion, Magalhães denies any wrongdoing.
The police justified their behavior in the police report obtained by the Portuguese paper Expresso. According to that report, the Magalhães family was one of many that had left the stadium without authorization. When approached by police, Magalhães told them that the kids he was with weren’t feeling well. (I’m not sure because the article is in Portuguese but it seems like there was some sort of mosh pit-type situation in the stands that Magalhães was trying to get the kids away from.)
As police continued talking to Magalhães, they claim he became increasingly agitated and starting yelling at them. From Expresso:
Also according to the report, the subject continued with the insults, turned in particular to the Deputy Commissioner, threatened him, and spat in his face, adopting ever hostile behavior. The fan knew he was being filmed and tried to take advantage of situation, adds the report, as well as their physical size relative to the Deputy Commissioner to hinder his arrest and detention.
The blows dealt by the Deputy Commissioner, visible in the video, are fully justified in the report, mainly because of the fan’s resistance to the security officers.
The report goes on to claim that Magalhães’s father was struck for trying to interfere with the arrest.
Magalhães was detained overnight and disputes the police’s characterization to the events. He spoke with a news station denied ever being verbally or physically confrontational with the officers. As reported in Expresso:
“I was just desperate to get the kids safety. Half an hour earlier we were still inside the stadium, the kids were distressed and I had to take them out of there. I had the understanding of the four agents who were at the door of the stadium that let me out. The commander Filipe Silva made the favor to come to bother me, asking what I was doing there.”
The video itself, while not showing much of the build up to the attack, seems to support Magalhães’s account more than the officers. At the moment, the incident is being reviewed by the relevant authorities.