Racial disparities have long pervaded every step of the criminal justice process, from police stops, searches, arrests, shootings, and other uses of force to charging decisions, wrongful convictions, and sentences. As a result, many have concluded that a structural or institutional bias against people of color, shaped by long-standing racial, economic, and social inequities, infects the criminal justice system. These systemic inequities can also instill implicit biases — unconscious prejudices that favor in-groups and stigmatize out-groups — among individual law enforcement officials, influencing their day-to-day actions while interacting with the public.
On Wednesday, a police team picked up two men from a luxury condominium by a lake in Brasilia. They also seized posters with photos of heavily-armed men in full military gear, calling for a military coup in Brazil. The suspects had sent a mail, titled “Death sentence to the traitors of the motherland”, to the country’s top judges. “We call on the people to kill politicians, judges, prosecutors, Mayors, their advisers, relatives, and demons of all sorts in defence of themselves,” the mail said. For a year, judges have been receiving death threats from anonymous groups. A Supreme Court judge, Celso de Mello, said on Thursday the people behind the threats were “fascists” and “Bolsonaristas” — the fanatic followers of President Jair Bolsonaro.