Government of SP wants to increase Military Police duties

Government of SP wants to increase Military Police duties
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The government of Tarcísio de Freitas, in São Paulo, has increased the duties of the Military Police (PM). Last weekend, the governor stated that there is an intention for the PM to start registering detailed terms, partly replacing the police reports made at police stations.ebc.gif?id=1591787&o=node

Recent operations conducted by the Public Ministry did not include investigations by the Civil Police, only with support from the Military Police: this was the case with Operation Fim da Linha and Operation Muditia.

During the military dictatorship, the Military Police had this investigative power. But with the 1988 Constitution, this function was no longer exercised by it and became a prerogative of the Civil Police. Now, the government of São Paulo intends to once again attribute this power to the Military Police, allowing it to record infractions with a maximum penalty of two years in detention, such as bodily harm, drug possession and invasion of property, the so-called detailed terms. Duties that were previously only permitted to the Civil Police.

For the Union of Police Delegates of the State of São Paulo (Sindpesp), the exclusion of the Civil Police in operations, such as Fim da Linha, has weakened the safety of the population. Furthermore, the union criticized the information that the São Paulo government intends to assign detailed terms to the Military Police. “Security forces need to work in harmony, harmony and synergy in the state of São Paulo. The Civil Police has the role of investigating and carrying out operations. The PM is responsible for street work, ostensible and preventive patrolling. When the State starts to transfer duties from Civil to Military, the PM itself is left without doing what, primarily, is its responsibility. This could further weaken the police structure as a whole”, said Jacqueline Valadares, president of the union, in a statement.

Last week, the governor of São Paulo, Tarcísio de Freitas, denied that there is a division between civil and military police in the state. “There is no split. There is no split between the police. You can rest assured”, he said, in a press interview. “What we are concerned about is maintaining more staff. Improve overt policing, have more people on the streets, don’t waste time. Do not demobilize a garrison to have to comply with this issue in the police report. Several states have already taken this step, 17 states have already taken this step, and we are wanting to take this step too. It’s reasonable, it’s already been discussed. There is an agreement with the management of the Civil Police”, he said.

For lawyer Almir Felitte and author of The History of the Police in Brazil: Permanent state of exception?, this increase in the power of the Military Police is linked to the militarization of public security in Brazil. “This process, I would say, does not come from now, and much less is it limited to São Paulo. This total militarization of our public security system is something that has been happening for some time, and perhaps since the beginning of the government [Jair] Bolsonaro. This is a process that began to gain even more strength, due to the Bolsonaro government’s predilection for militarism, in the way it views public security. Here in São Paulo we already have a situation where for years the Civil Police has been complaining about a lack of structure and complaining about a lack of staff. At the same time, we see the Military Police not only gaining more and more structure, but also swallowing, in a way, usurping some of the functions that are constitutionally exclusive to the Civil Police”, he said.

In an interview with Brazil Agency, Felitte recalled Bill 2,310/2022, presented by the state secretary of Public Security of São Paulo, Guilherme Derrite, when he was a federal deputy. This project predicted that the military and highway police, for example, would have more power to investigate. “In this project, Derrite already proposes that the Military Police can carry out a series of activities that are linked to police investigation. He calls the project police intelligence, but he is talking about data collection and processing by the Military Police, which are nothing more than acts of investigation. And it is something that we will now see repeated here in São Paulo in the detailed term. Despite it being said that the police will not produce evidence in practice, they will, they will perhaps even be able to question witnesses who completely deviate from the function of maintaining the ostensible policing order that they have under the Constitution”, pointed out the writer.

According to him, the Military Police has taken over all the functions of police work in the country, even though it is only provided for two functions in the Constitution: overt policing and maintaining order. For Felitte, this includes risks. “Increasingly, all public security functions are being subordinated to an institution that officially has a militarized character. This all projects an even more military future for public security and our past shows that this has no good effect. Not only does it increase police violence, it also has no impact on reducing violence and common crime,” he said.

“The second point that I think is an even broader issue – and which involves the very risk to the Democratic State and the Brazilian Law – is the issue of the military police increasingly achieving greater political power within our country. Increasingly, the military police is a political actor that has its own political powers within its group, a power project, an increase in its power and legal functions. All of this has contributed to a military police that is increasingly beyond the control of civil society,” he added.

Felitte argues that Brazil needs to discuss what type of police it wants for the country: this model where there is a division of functions between the police or what is adopted in various parts of the world, complete policing. “For us to discuss complete policing, a complete cycle of policing in Brazil, it is important that we carry out this debate from a different perspective. It is important that we debate the complete cycle of policing together with the demilitarization of public security, together with mechanisms of civil control over the police. But what the Military Police has tried to do politically in our country is to implement a complete cycle of policing by the big hand, forcibly, without any type of political debate, to maintain public security, practically the entire cycle of public security, in their hands. and in a mentalized way,” he said.

In a note, the São Paulo Public Security Secretariat informed that the preparation of the detailed statement of occurrence (TCO) by the Military Police is provided for by Federal Law 9,099/95 “and endorsed by recent decisions of the Federal Supreme Court”.

“According to the understanding of the Supreme Court itself, drawing up the TCO is not the exclusive responsibility of the judicial police and is not an investigative act. It is an administrative procedure for registering crimes of lesser offensive potential – with a maximum sentence of up to two years or criminal misdemeanors – which are presented directly to the Special Criminal Court (Jecrim), without prejudice to preventive and overt policing activities.” , said the secretariat, in a note.

Also according to the secretariat, the measure is already in operation in 17 Brazilian states and “aims to speed up service to citizens, optimize resources and guarantee conditions for the Civil Police to strengthen investigations into crimes with greater offensive potential, without harming preventive and overt policing on the streets of the State”.

Wanted by Brazil Agency To find out why Operation End of the Line was carried out without the participation of the Civil Police, the Public Ministry informed that “the operation was carried out in two criminal investigative procedures of the Public Ministry, and not in police investigations. The military police were called in to support the operation, in which agents from Cade and the Federal Revenue Service participated. The investigation was conducted from start to finish by the Public Ministry.”

* With collaboration from TV Brasil

The article is in Portuguese

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