22.6 C
Tuesday, 27 July, 2021

Murder of a female detective in Venezuela feed a debate about the unjustified use of force by police

Using firearms to stop the policewoman’s car should have been the last resource for Military Police at Fuerte Tiuna's deadly shooting.


Lawyers and other crime and violence experts contacted by El Pitazo say the militaries were wrong in shooting a fleeing car from behind Monday, a deadly move that resulted in the tragic death of a policewoman-29- inside a military base.

Ayendry Moreno, a detective from the CICPC, the investigation police, was shot in the neck and killed at the number 3 gate of Fuerte Tiuna, Venezuela’s largest military base by a member of the Military Police, now in custody with another five detained for the deadly shooting.

A statement from the 35th Brigade of the Military Police signed by the chief of that service, Jhony Berroterán Escobar said that Moreno disobeyed commands to stop, knocked down some traffic-control orange cones, was speeding and, ultimately, injured two men before the officers fired twice; shot hitting detective’s neck, killing her instantly.

A worrying pattern

Law professor, Keyner Avila, said the death of Moreno in those circumstances is not justified by any of the three principles that should govern police action: proportionality (the response needs to be in proportion with the initial attack or aggression), necessity (the urgent objective police action seeks to achieve) and legality (Venezuela has no death penalty and lethal force can only use to preserve one’s life).

“Was a life being saved? Did they save a life by taking another life? And whose life did they save to justify murder?” Avila asked. The expert also said that knocking down a few cones is no excuse for using a gun.

Encounters between the military, police, and civilians are highly lethal in Venezuela. According to the Venezuelan Violence Observatory, there are 16,506 violent deaths recorded in 2019. From that number, 5,286 are victims of police action, which means 32% of the total and indicated 19 murders for every 100,000 Venezuelans.

- Advertisement -

You must read: Venezuela is the most murderous country in Latin America: Insight Crime

Venezuela has the most cases of “Death by cop” in the Western Hemisphere, according to the World Health Organization, which considers it a man-made epidemic.

Allegations of resistance or disobedience are common in justifying those cases. In 2018, the UN recorded 5,287 “resistance to authority” deaths during police operations.

“The excuse for resisting authority is very common. It’s a recurring behavior pattern in armed cops,” Anagabriela Centeno, a Human Rights lawyer, told El Pitazo.

Centeno said that the military had enough time to set up different kinds of measures to stop the car, such as nails or a physical barrier.
In most of the cases where the killers are police and/or military, there is no punishment and impunity favors them, Centeno said.

Behind the news that you just read, there is another story. The story of a team of journalists who appreciates independence, just like you. A team who has the commitment to unveil injustice and the abuse of power. But to keep doing it, we need your support. Join our cause: to make the kind of journalism that shows you the facts and keeps you awake.SUPPORT JOURNALISM THAT SHOWS YOU THE FACTS AND KEEPS YOU AWAKE


What expect from Venezuelan National Assembly in 2020?

This January 5 begins a new period in Venezuela National Assembly, and it seems Juan Guaido will be reelected as Parliament...
Tu indignación es necesaria
Hazte Aliado