The Brazilian Police have severely cracked down on gangs and drug lords in order to prepare to host the 2016 summer Olympics, but now they're being criticized for being too harsh after a shocking video was released Sunday.
The video, from a May 2012 police chase, was aired on Brazilian national TV and shows a police helicopter raining bullets down on a car they believed Marcio “The Mathematician" Pereira was driving through Rio de Janeiro. At the time, Pereira was one of the city’s most wanted drug lords.
The high speed chase shows bullets being shot towards the car speeding through Rio’s streets. Many homes were hit by bullet spray during the chase, which eventually did stop Pereira’s car. The assailant, however, fled on foot and police were unable to apprehend him. Pereira’s body was found the next day in a parked car nearby, but it is still unclear if he was the man driving during the high speed chase.
“This image leads us to admit there could have been a disproportionate action,” said Martha Rocha, head of Rio’s Civil Police Force.
The pilot of the helicopter Adonis Oliveira, however, defended the force he and other officers used in the pursuit, claiming, “Although the picture is taken at a very long distance and at night, we felt sure that it was The Mathematician.”
An investigation has since been launched into the incident to determine if excessive force was used.