(Washington DC) Executive Director Philip K. Eure of the Office of Police Complaints (OPC) recently addressed a gathering of Brazilian federal prosecutors and other government officials at a police oversight conference held in the country’s capital, Brasilia, on June 19, 2008.
Invited as a guest of the Brazilian government’s Public Ministry, Eure presented information to the prosecutors on the independent role of the District’s police accountability office and the importance of similar agencies throughout the United States. Brazil is exploring different methods to improve police accountability.
The OPC executive director explained how the District agency investigates, adjudicates, and mediates police misconduct complaints. In his remarks, Eure also emphasized the importance of community outreach in educating the public about the agency’s complaint process and services, and the role served by OPC in promoting greater trust between the police and citizens. The independent police monitor from Denver also spoke to the group.
“It was our goal to provide an overview of the police oversight landscape in the United States,” said Eure. “Because the District’s model is nationally noted for performing a wide range of functions, the Brazilians were very interested to hear about our experiences.”
In Brazil, federal prosecutors can pursue criminal charges against police officers involved in the most serious types of excessive force and corruption cases, but only a small number of these matters are eventually prosecuted. The country has recently experienced a spate of very serious police abuses, many of which resulted in the unjustified killings of citizens.
Unlike the United States, Brazil does not have independent police review agencies that are set up to receive and investigate the full range of complaints against the police.
For additional information on the activities of the Public Ministry office in Brasilia that organized the conference, please visit the website below: