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License Not to Kill | São Paulo’s Bullet Bonus

Image: Latuff, for the Mães de Maio, a group seeking justice for PM ultraviolence during the 2006 PM-PCC War in the Streets

Brasil de Fato reports, via Caros Amigos, and I translate:

São Paulo military police involved in fewer cases of «resistance followed by death» will receive bigger bonuses. This is the proposal of commandant-general Roberval Ferreira França to reform the institution.

What are these people, telemarketers? Stock traders? What about negative consequences for the trigger-happy?  This seems like a textbook case of moral hazard.

The police official presented the proposal to Governor Geraldo Alckmin (PSDB) and state secretary of public safety Antônio Ferreira Pinto.

The PM commander also suggests that weapons seizures and suspect searches be included in the so-called «list of objectives», an index that will be produced based on the reduction in crime and used to assign bonuses to troopers.

Alckmin approved the measure in its entirety and authorized its adoption «100%».

According to the Instituto Sou da Paz, between April and June of this year, São Paulo military and state judicial police killed 79 persons, up from 73 in the same period in 2011 and 71 in 2010. Since 2009, police have been responsible for 20% of intentional homicides in the city.

Again according to the institute, in metropolitan São Paulo, for each military police trooper killed or wounded, 4.2 were killed or injured by the PM. Elsewhere in São Paulo, this ratio is 2.4 to 1.0.

NYPD, which is not exactly gun shy, killed 93 in 1971 and only 8 in 2010, with 16 wounded.  There were 471 homicides in the city in 2009, against 9 police killings.

Break out the calculator: I make it 1.8 percent.

U.S. nationwide line of duty deaths by gunfire thus far in 2012 are 32. I would bet that U.S. newspapers are hypervigilant in their coverage of both police shooting victims and police line of duty deaths, compared with the Sambodian press.

In this context, someone should ask about the political clout of the military police as well: 30 of São Paulo’s 31 sub-prefectures are headed by reserve, retired or furloughed military police colonels.

Above, the logo of the October 2 Movement, commemorating the Carandiru incident of 1992 and calling for an end to police «massacres». The group recently took part in a seminar on police violence hosted by SPressoSP.