Eight São Paulo military police have been arrested following the release of video footage showing the murder of two adolescents, in what appears to be an example of the type of extrajudicial killings that have provoked conflict with Brazil gangs and caused controversy throughout the country.
The video, picked up by CCTV security cameras on March 16, shows the 14 and 18-year-old boys being shot from behind more than ten times by helmeted men after rasing their hands in surrender and facing the wall. A third youth is shown escaping the scene.
(See video below; warning: extreme violence depicted; minors should not watch unaccompanied by an adult.)
Seconds later, a military police car is seen speeding by. But a second camera shows the car was parked on the corner, within meters and viewing distance of the attack.
Authorities believe the killers to have been police, based on the positioning of the police car and testimony from a person who was on the phone with one of the victims at the time of the attack, reported the BBC.
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Extrajudicial police killings are an ongoing concern in Brazil, where police are widely distrusted.
According to Human Rights Watch, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo police combined are responsible for over 1,000 “resistance” killings per year, in which they murder victims and later report that they were resisting arrest.
In July 2012, a series of killings by police appeared to be revenge for police murders by São Paulo’s First Capital Command (PCC), which is engaged in an ongoing conflict with police.