RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Amid a soaring number of police killings in Rio de Janeiro, the state’s tough-talking governor says it is “normal” for the rate to increase and will likely keep rising during his administration.
Gov. Wilson Witzel said the rising number of killings by police in the state of Rio is a consequence of his policy of “confronting terrorists,” as he calls drug trafficking groups.
“It is normal” there are more deaths, said Witzel, who is known for his controversial comments and ties to President Jair Bolsonaro.
Police in Rio killed 714 people in the first five months of his year – almost five a day – 20% more than in 2018, according to official figures.
The governor shrugged off the increase, saying it is due to police “hitting hard” at criminals.