The group Human Rights Watch group have released a report today, “‘Good Cops Are Afraid’: The Toll of Unchecked Police Violence in Rio de Janeiro” that details that police in Rio de Janeiro has killed over 8,000 people in ten years. The report highlights that at least 645 people were killed in 2015 alone.
Human Rights Watch said that most of the killing were the result of the legitimate use of force but many were extrajudicial executions. Maria Lura Canineu, director of Human Rights Watch in Brazil, said “Violent crime is a very real problem in Rio, but executing suspected criminals is not the answer, these unlawful killings turn communities against the police and undermine security for all.”
When it comes to extrajudicial executions by police many police officers interviewed for the report said they didn’t report the crimes of their colleagues for fear of being killed. The report highlighted that police involved extrajudicial executions routinely cover up their behaviour, threaten witnesses and plant evidence on victims.
“By failing to investigate killings by police, the authorities are not only denying justice to victims’ families, they are also doing a great disservice to the Rio police force itself,” Canineu said.