The Regulation of Life and Death in the City of Salvador, BA: Homicides, Police Violence and the Process of "Legalization of Illegal Deaths"

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Mariana POSSAS, Federal University of Bahia, Brazil
Andrija ALMEIDA, UFBA, Brazil
This presentation is part of an ongoing research about police violence and its judiciary consent, in urban Brazil. Our research team is observing and analysing the phenomenon of elevating homicide rates in the city of Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, which includes the deaths commited by onduty policemen. Despite its growing rates, the cases of homicides perpetrated by police officers are being sistematically overlooked by police organizations and the by state courts. We are possibly witnessing an important change in terms of the social regulation of the killing interdit. The police has no longer to face the moral obstacle that prevent the killing of the so-called "bandids" and the state courts, who were the formal instance to address the problem in juridical terms, and ultimately, to control the possibility to kill "in the name of social security", are openly removing the interdit. "Killing the bandits" is becoming the new oficial "police practice" with judicial consent. Our field research is based on the analisys of criminal proceedings involving deaths pepetrated by the police during official operations and interviews with police officers, public prosecuters, public defendents and criminal judges, who acted in such cases.