‘License to Kill’: Inside Rio’s record year of police killings

A Times analysis found officers shoot without restraint, protected by their bosses and by politicians, certain that illegal killings will not be held against them
The New York Times (US)
Monday, May 18, 2020

brasil upp mareOfficially, the police in Brazil are allowed to use lethal force only to confront an imminent threat. But an analysis of four dozen police killings in a violent Rio district shows that officers routinely gun down people without restraint, protected by their bosses and the knowledge that even if they are investigated for illegal killings, it will not keep them from going back out onto the beat. In at least half of the 48 police killings analyzed by The New York Times, the deceased were shot in the back at least once, according to autopsy reports, immediately raising questions about the imminent threat required to justify such killings. One quarter of the police killings examined involved an officer who had previously been charged with murder.