Chauan Cezario and his friends came back from the beach on a February Friday night, to Palmeirinha, a Rio favela. The power was out, so they couldn’t watch TV and instead goofed around in the dark but crowded street, using one of their cellphones to record a video.

Then Mr. Cezario heard shots, and he was falling, and he saw that his friend Alan Lima was falling too, and as blood poured from his chest, it occurred to Mr. Cezario that somehow he had been shot. He began to pray, while his friend moaned. Then police officers with assault rifles were standing over them, demanding to know what they had been doing.

Playing, Mr. Cezario said, as blood pooled around him. Just playing.

After half an hour, police permitted neighbours to lift the two men into a patrol car and then drove them to hospital. Alan, 15, was dead. Mr. Cezario, 19, was left caked in both their blood, and to his astonishment, handcuffed; eventually, a police officer said he was being charged with illegal possession of a firearm and resisting arrest.

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