How Police Violence Paves The Way To Authoritarianism

By Travis Waldron

Published on Huffpost

One quote could have told you that Jair Bolsonaro was going to win.

“A good criminal is a dead criminal,” the authoritarian former army captain proclaimed again and again during his campaign for president of Brazil last year.

Bolsonaro’s words were harsh. But in a country plagued by rising levels of violent crime, the sentiment is widely popular with voters — and reflected in government policy. Brazil’s experience offers a warning to others: As police tactics get more extreme and cops kill more people, support for the killing doesn’t necessarily fall. Instead, as violence increases, so does the desire for even more aggressive solutions.


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