How do Brazilian citizens see the police

Brazil's police shoot hard

On average, five people were shot or otherwise killed in police operations every day from January to March. The authorities registered 434 deaths in the first three months of the year. In 2018 there were still 368 victims of police violence.

That is an increase of almost 18 percent and the highest value since records began in 1998. At the same time, the total number of homicides in the state of Rio de Janeiro fell significantly: from 1868 to 1528 cases - that is, however, still 17 deaths per day.

Police violence: a common picture in Brazil

The new high point of police violence coincides with the inauguration of Governor Wilson Witzel. His electoral success was largely due to his support for President Bolsonaro's hard line in the fight against crime. In an interview in March, Witzel said that the police are now using snipers to shoot suspects from a great distance. "If someone carries an assault rifle, he must be immediately neutralized in a deadly way," said the governor of the newspaper "O Globo".

Violence and Fear: State versus Citizen

Numerous human rights organizations denounce the increasing number of extrajudicial "executions" in Brazil and point out that police officers rarely face prosecution. Justice Minister Sergio Moro has announced that it will increase the number of cases in which gunshots by police officers are considered self-defense. "Fear, surprise or extreme feelings" should also suffice as a reason in future.

cgn / rb (ap, afp)