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License-to-Kill Policing to Get a Trial Run in Rio de Janeiro

License-to-kill policing to get a trial run in Rio de Janeiro. PHOTO: Bloomberg

By David Biller | 22 December 2018

BLOOMBERG — Teams of marksmen next year will patrol swaths of Rio de Janeiro with high-powered weapons and a license to kill, said a security adviser to Governor-elect Wilson Witzel.

As many as 120 sharpshooters will accompany police incursions into the slums of Brazil’s postcard city to exterminate gun-toting criminals, according to Flavio Pacca, a longtime associate of Witzel who the governor-elect’s press office said will join the administration. The shooters will work in pairs — one to pull the trigger, one to monitor conditions and videotape deaths.

“The protocol will be to immediately neutralize, slaughter anyone who has a rifle,” Witzel, a federal judge and former Brazilian marine, told reporters in Brasilia on Dec. 12. “Whoever has a rifle isn’t worried about other people’s lives, they’re ready to eliminate anyone who crosses their path. This is a grave problem, not just in Rio de Janeiro, but also in other states.”

Rio has long exemplified Brazil’s charm and its chaos, and what happens there echoes at home and abroad. Like President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, Witzel cruised to victory in October promising a brutal crackdown on criminals who make daily life a harrowing ordeal. Rio will be a proving ground for Bolsonaro’s philosophy of maximum force — and whether law enforcement devolves into a storm of extrajudicial killings. […]

2 Comments on License-to-Kill Policing to Get a Trial Run in Rio de Janeiro

  1. When I was a teenager, I thought about what I would most like to do, and be qualified to do. I almost immediately decided that I would make a damned good Texas Ranger but, as there were only about 90+ of them in the Lone Star State, I didn’t think there was a chance in hell that I could become one of them. It didn’t take me long to figure out a job that I could actually get, with a certain limitation (I couldn’t execute people.). That job was as a California Highway Patrol Motor Officer, with a LICENSE TO KILL. If, in my sole judgement, a person did something so outrageous that they deserved summary execution on the side of the road, I would also carry out the sentence. My sole discretion would decide whether a person got a warning, a fine, a license suspension, or ANY other penalty that I wished to impose. I would exercise my authority most judiciously, indeed. What got me thinking that I needed the Double-Aught Spy’s “L to K,” was reading the story, in a Los Angeles newspaper, about some bimbo who was driving a big Caddy her Sugar Daddy had bought for her. This was in the early sixties, the slut was around 25 years old, it was a BIG Caddy, and the skank was three-sheets-to-the-wind. She was driving across a bridge, at ground level, over the Santa Ana Freeway (I-5) in East L.A. She drove up on the sidewalk and through the concrete railing, falling upside-down onto the freeway, below, going roof-to-roof with a car driving down the road. She KILLED a man who was in his early thirties, was married, and had a couple of kids. You can’t hurt a drunk; you can kill ’em, but you can’t hurt ’em. This poor excuse for a used colostomy bag, climbed out of her wrecked car and, according to the newspaper, “was cussing a blue streak, because she had BROKEN A FINGERNAIL (emphasis added).” With or without a license to kill, I would have made her kneel on the side of the road and shot her. That would, possibly, be the only time I exercised that option and nobody on this planet would say I wasn’t justified.

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