Mass Arrest of Brazil Police as Investigation into Judge’s Death Continues

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A state attorney general in Brazil ordered the expulsion of 34 military police officers in São Goncalo, where a high-profile criminal judge was gunned down in August in a murder linked to the military police.

Arrest warrants were issued for 28 of the police officers, who are charged with committing extrajudicial killings, reports Terra Brazil.

The officers all serve in the military police’s 7th Battalion, based in São Goncalo, which has been accused of police brutality. According to data kept by Human Rights Watch, in 2009 at least 62 police officers committed suspicious killings they claimed were carried out in self-defense.

The Attorney General’s Office in Rio de Janeiro state added that more military police may be removed from their posts in the coming weeks.

Authorities said the request is not connected to the ongoing investigation into the murder of Patricia Acioli, a judge in São Goncalo known for her tough rulings against local militias, many made up of former police officers.

Acioli was reportedly the only judge in her district who would handle homicide cases involving the 7th Battallion. In many cases Acioli ruled against the police whose defense was that they had killed suspects who were resisting arrest.

No one has yet been formally charged with Acioli’s murder. Her enemies were many, including one of São Goncalo’s most prominent local militias which ran the suburb’s illegal transport networks.

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