TJ-RJ confirms self-defense in police action

TJ-RJ confirms self-defense in police action

Unanimously, the Court of Justice of Rio de Janeiro (TJ-RJ) decided, this Wednesday (24), to deny an appeal by the state Public Ministry that asked that the rejection of the complaint filed against two civil police officers who participated in the operation in Jacarezinho, in May 2021. In the judgment, the judges upheld the lower court decision, which pointed to self-defense by security agents when they shot two boys linked to drug trafficking who invaded a house and held a family hostage to avoid being captured by the police.

In the operation in Jacarezinho, there were 28 deaths, including that of a police officer shot in the head while trying to remove a barricade installed by drug dealers at the entrance to the community. After the operation, which had around 300 police officers, press vehicles and NGOs began to preach the thesis of the “Jacarezinho massacre”, that is, the existence of a massacre committed by police officers.

Despite this, the occurrence of abuses by police officers was ruled out in 26 of the 27 deaths of suspects of criminal activities by Justice and/or by the task force of the Public Ministry of Rio de Janeiro (MP-RJ), which for almost a year investigated the circumstances of the deaths.

In a note sent to People’s Gazette In July last year, the Public Prosecutor’s Office stated that in 24 of the 27 deaths of people who entered into armed confrontation with the police, “no evidence was found capable of indicating the commission of a crime by the police in the related cases, with a conclusion for deaths resulting from armed confrontation”.

Of the three complaints made by the MP-RJ regarding those involved in the confrontation, the Justice accepted only two: one against two police officers for alleged intentional homicide and procedural fraud in relation to one of the deaths, and the other against drug dealers responsible for the death of the civil police officer. during the operation.

understand the case

For the judges who denied the MP-RJ’s appeal, the conduct of the police, who lethally shot two boys, aged 22 and 23, amounted to self-defense. The magistrates ruled out the possibility of the crimes of which the agents were being accused: execution and procedural fraud.

“In view of all the evidentiary elements produced, the technical evidence and the testimonies given, there is the occurrence of self-defense, by imminent aggression, with risk to the lives of the defendants, not seeing any evidence of unjustified and specific intent to kill, denoting that there was execution, that is, no close-range shot in the head, or anything like that”, said the rapporteur, who was unanimously followed by the other judges.

On the day of the operation, the two boys linked to drug trafficking entered a residence on the run after having participated in an exchange of fire with police officers who were part of the operation. For four hours, the criminals held family members hostage, until the two police officers entered the house and fired upon the armed criminals.

After the operation, the police presented two pistols and a grenade to the police station, which would be in the possession of the traffickers. The Public Prosecutor’s Office was unable to prove that the traffickers had surrendered or intended to surrender before the agents’ incursion.

According to expertise, the shots were fired while the criminals were standing facing the police. The projectiles were also not fired at close range, which could corroborate the execution thesis. Also, the shots were fired at half height, which makes the thesis that the boys were on their knees or lying in a position of surrender unfeasible. The necropsy examination reports also did not show injuries that would indicate execution.

As evidenced in the records, after the incident, the police allowed residents to take a picture of the place, invited witnesses to give testimony at the police station and informed them that it would be necessary to wait for the expertise before carrying out the cleaning of the place, which, according to the judges, ” reinforces the legitimacy of the acts performed by them”. Furthermore, one of the boys was taken to the hospital alive, which also conflicts with the execution thesis.

The Gabriel Habib Advogados office, responsible for defending the police, said that it acted free of charge “from the first moment because it considers important the support for public security agents who fight organized crime and also because they have perceived the legitimacy and legality of the action police officer”.

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