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Only 8% of Police Officers Walk Away Uninjured in Attacks in São Paulo

05/21/2018 - 12h25

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ROGÉRIO PAGNAN

Police officer José Luís Alves, 43, was in a bank when he suspected a man who was hurrying into the agency. His hand reached for his gun on his belt and he threatened to pull it out, but gave up as soon as he noticed the suspect was dressed as a garbage man. He criticized himself for suspecting everything and everyone and lowered his guard.

The gun shot hit the left side of his face, under his eye, making him fall to the ground. As he saw his own blood on the concrete, he noticed the criminal dressed as a garbage man shoot him again, this time pointing at the back of his neck. At that moment he was sure he would die and only lamented his bad luck.

José Luís did not die, received the nickname of "bad vase" and increased the sad statistics of police officers attacked in São Paulo who, although armed and trained, end up injured in similar situations.

A new survey by Folha based on confidential reports of the São Paulo Police Department shows that, in nine in every ten attacks against police officers, the officer is either injured or killed. Most of the cases are robberies and the officers are soldiers.

Eduardo Anizelli
Gedalva Maria dos Santos, 66, with the photo of her son Osmar Santos Ferreira. Osmar was assassinated on June 22, 2012
Gedalva Maria dos Santos, 66, with the photo of her son Osmar Santos Ferreira. Osmar was assassinated on June 22, 2012

The data shows that in some 23% of the cases, not only do criminals attack the officer, but they also take his gun. And there are cases in which the police officer is killed with his own gun, the one he carried to protect himself - that occurred in 4% of the cases.

These figures are the result of an analysis held by Folha in 491 reports in which police officers are the victims. These reports were made between 2006 and 2013 by the team of the police internal affairs department specialized in investigating attacks of this type in the state.

These data show that, in the 491 reports, 218 officers were killed and 233 were injured - in at least 81 of these cases the officers were either shot or hit with a stick in the head. In all, only 40 officers of this total walked away uninjured, which amounts to 8% of the cases.

Translated by THOMAS MUELLO

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