Reflecting the fear of being shot by police looking for Rio's well-armed drug gang members, the activists caution against carrying a long umbrella.

Brazilian black activists shared a video titled
Brazilian black activists shared a video titled "Tips on surviving an improper approach" on Facebook as police violence has flared in Rio de Janeiro. ( Facebook/spartakusvlog )

Advice issued by black activists in Rio de Janeiro on "surviving" interactions with police – including warning against carrying umbrellas that may be mistaken for guns – went viral on Monday.

In an approximately three-minute video that was quickly shared more than 54,000 times on Facebook, three men said their tips would be needed during a new crackdown led by the army on crime in Rio.

"Unfortunately, we blacks are always targets for abuse and retaliations, so if you're black pay attention to what we're telling you," they say.

First is not to leave home late because "at night you are not only black to other people, but considered a dangerous bandit."

Other tips are never to go outside without identity papers, to tell friends where you are, and always to carry a phone to record incidents.

Caution against carrying a long umbrella

Reflecting the fear of being shot by police looking for Rio's well-armed drug gang members, the activists caution against carrying a long umbrella.

"It may seem stupid, but many people see them from a distance and think they are firearms."

President Michel Temer on Friday signed a decree giving the army control over Rio's police. The move, which must be confirmed by Congress, follows the failure of Rio state security services to get drug gangs under control.

Swaths of the city called favelas are almost no-go areas for police, except during large-scale raids against the gangs, which operate openly in the densely packed streets.

Police officers are also suffering in the spiralling violence. About one, on average, is killed every three days.

Source: AFP