Supreme Court forces Rio de Janeiro to adopt measures against police violence

February 4, 2022

Rio de Janeiro, Feb 3 (EFE).- The Supreme Court of Brazil established this Thursday a period of 90 days for the Government of the state of Rio de Janeiro to adopt measures against the violence of its police, which between January and November of the year past were responsible for the deaths of nearly 1,300 people. In a decision approved unanimously by its eleven magistrates, the Federal Supreme Court determined that the Government of Rio de Janeiro present within 90 days a viable plan to reduce the high rates of civilian deaths and human rights violations of their public security forces. According to statistics from the Government of Rio de Janeiro itself, the police officers of this Brazilian state are responsible for almost a quarter of the homicides registered in their jurisdiction. The total number of intentional homicides registered in Rio de Janeiro, not including those caused by the police, fell by 8% in the last year, from 3,544 in 2020 to 3,245 in 2021, while deaths of civilians in police interventions rose by 12%. , up to 1,298 in the first eleven months of 2021. In 2020, the Rio de Janeiro police, considered the most violent in Brazil, were responsible for the death of 1,245 people who allegedly resisted their operations. These figures jumped last year due to the killing of 28 inhabitants of the Jacarezinho favela in a violent operation, whose investigation has shown that many of the victims were killed at close range and when they were already exhausted. The operation caused what is considered the largest urban massacre in the history of Brazil. In its ruling this Thursday, the Supreme Court said that it expects from the Government a plan to reduce this violence that includes objective measures, schedules and a forecast of the necessary resources for its implementation. It also determined that the investigation of police operations that end with the deaths of adolescents should have priority. The highest court also determined that the arrest or search warrants should only be carried out during daytime hours and that they should be sufficiently detailed and justified. The sentence also established a term of 180 days for the Government to equip the uniforms of all its police officers and patrols with GPS location tools and audio and video cameras with which their movements can be verified. “The system really needs a correction of the courses that allows to protect the life and health of all, including the inhabitants of the communities (favelas) and the police themselves,” said the president of the Supreme Court, Luiz Fux. In an injunction granted in June 2020, when the process began to be analyzed by the magistrates, the court had already prohibited the firing of firearms from helicopters in operations in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. It had also determined that operations in these popular neighborhoods can only be carried out at night and in exceptional cases fully justified in writing.