Thursday, February 20, 2014

Demilitarize the Brazilian military police?

Vanessa Barbara
Vanessa Barbara has this op-ed in The New York Times, urging, among other things, that Brazil's military police be removed from the military justice system. She writes:
"The military police are not part of the armed forces, and yet they operate according to military principles of rank and discipline. They cannot strike or unionize, and are subject to a military-style penal code (meaning transgressions at work can be treated as mutiny or treason, and officers are tried in a special court). They are prohibited from 'revealing facts or documents that can discredit the police or disrupt hierarchy or discipline.'"
Demilitarizing the military police, she argues, "would grant more labor rights to our officers, releasing them from a military code of conduct and discipline that often involves humiliation and training infused with a war mentality. It would also mean conferring on the civilian justice system the authority to judge all crimes committed by police officers."

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