As condemnation mounts over the alleged violent and systematic use of excessive force by Brazilian police against protesters, a government commission voted in favor of recommending charges against the nation’s president.
Government officials have admitted that rubber bullets and tear gas canisters used by police during demonstrations were used by military police against protesters on Sept. 1 and 2. The World Health Organization has accused federal police of using excessive force, resulting in the death of a Brazilian civilian.
“There was no law prohibiting the deployment of rubber bullets,” a senior federal police official told Reuters. “A lot of rubber bullets were used, a lot of tear gas — but not in the manner used, in a disproportionate, lethal manner.”
The violence appeared to be aimed at stopping a protest against the president. However, a local health official claimed eight people died and about 70 were injured in the violence. Protesters hoped to bring attention to the rising cost of living and social inequality in Brazil.
A commission of the public secretary, inspector general and public defender will now recommend charges against Bolsonaro, who has also acknowledged prior participation in the event but denied knowing any police had used excessive force.