Video: Brazilian Police Helicopter Sprays Street With Machine Gun Fire In Pursuit Of Fleeing Car

There are some helicopter stunts that capture our attention for their bravery and skill as with the recent mountain rescue in Norway. The Rio police in this video present a far less admirable side to helicopter operations. The video shows a helicopter spraying a street in Rio with machine gun bullets — continuing to fire even as pedestrians are shown near the ricocheting bullets.

Even in Brazil, where police have a reputation for corruption and abuse, this video is a shocker. I cannot imagine any circumstance when such use of force would be justified by a police operation. Even in a war zone, the use of such weaponry in an urban setting is limited.

This is not the image Brazil wants the world to see with rising concern over the runaway crime in cities like Rio before the next Olympics and major events like the World Youth Conference.

15 thoughts on “Video: Brazilian Police Helicopter Sprays Street With Machine Gun Fire In Pursuit Of Fleeing Car”

  1. Coming soon to a street near you, due to the unabated militarization of American police forces. But our guys will not use copters – that’s SO 20th century – they’ll use drones.

  2. The Brazilians have already topped this insanity. They call these neighborhoods “favelas” or slums. They are overridden by drug lords and gangs. They once recently deployed M113 Gavins armored up like tanks. They are tracked vehicles that can climb through anything to reach a favela. They are equipped with .50 caliber machine guns.

    They even crashed into a light plane on the tarmac in Ribeirão Preto to stop a fleeing drug dealer (clipped it’s port-side wing). These Brazilian LEO’s are serious about cleaning up Brazil before the 2016 Olympics. China pretty much cleaned up (or hid) their messes too before their Olympics.

  3. This is insane. We had a saying, you cannot out-run a Motorola. (referring to a police radio maker) Follow and then contain when they stop.

    The machine gunning was completely reckless.

    It seems more like the “Tropa de Elite” movie series than anything.

  4. A laser guided rocket with a dummy warhead would have done the trick much better

  5. The value of high speed pursuit has come up in threads here before, nick. You seem to be in alignment with majority consensus past on the matter. They’re high risk and many think that risk outweighs the benefit.

  6. This makes out of control police car chases look tame..but they aren’t. Just yesterday, a woman was killed in Chicago when she gt ohit by a police car and the fleeing vehicle. This happens WAY too often. With all of the posts here regarding brutality, this cop chase pathology is just as bad.

  7. Asked about heavy use of gunfire and risks for residents, Adonis Lopes de Oliveira, the helicopter’s commander, responded, “That street was frequented largely by traffickers.” – huh?

    Head of Rio’s Civil Police force Ms. Martha Rocha said: “This image leads us to admit that there could have been a disproportionate action,”

    YA’ THINK???!!!

  8. Guerrilla warfare…. Is a treat in the streets ….. Maybe they have it confused with carnival……

  9. The phrase “collateral damage” comes to mind.

    Perhaps they will adopt a theory “anyone within lead poisoning range of a suspect being chased by a drone is also a fleeing suspect.”

    I mean, anyone within range of a drone explosion and within a certain age group is considered to be an associated terrorist, while those outside that age range are collateral damage.

    Is this a universal mental impairment?

    If so how?

  10. What were they thinking? They must have a protocol for when to engage with the chain gun. Let’s hope that was not it. That was nuts. Investigation on whether they used excessive force? Let’s hope so, and keep the investigation honest.

    As a practical matter, that car was not going to escape the ‘eye in the sky’ and would have eventually stopped or come to an open area. Shooting at a fast moving target is always going to be more problematic than a stationary one. Far more chances of stray rounds hitting the wrong thing–or person–by accident. They also did not have very many opportunities for a clear shot in that narrow street. The point is, there was no chance of him getting away, or bailing out of that car at the speed it was going. They had to stop sometime.

  11. Ahh there’s going to be an ‘investigation’….to SEE if there was excessive force….


    Wonder how long before we have the same thing here…
    the Ludlow Massacre, the Lattimer Massacre, the Haymarket massacre, the “Battle of the Viaduct”, or the Bay View Massacre, the Battle of Athens, Kent State, Jackson, New Mexico….

    Never mind… 🙁

  12. Excessive? At two points you can see the rounds striking buildings. Excessive is one word that comes to mind. Some more words that come to mind are “criminally negligent” and “reckless endangerment”.

    Go to the Olympics in Rio? Carnivale? Not even if you paid me.

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