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.