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Institutional design for accountability of the police that kills: possibilities and limits in racially unequal democracies

Grant number: 21/12667-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 10, 2022
Effective date (End): April 09, 2023
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law - Public Law
Principal Investigator:Maira Rocha Machado
Grantee:Poliana da Silva Ferreira
Supervisor: Yanilda María González
Host Institution: Escola de Direito de São Paulo (DIREITO GV). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Harvard University, United States  
Associated to the scholarship:19/24756-3 - Justifications for (not) responsible for policy that kills: look, speech and representations of legal procedural actors, BP.DR


This research project focus on state control and accountability mechanisms for deaths produced by the police. Our purpose is to observe structures, practices and processes that lead, institutionally, to the identification, investigation, imputation of responsibility of police officers involved in lethal episodes, considering the outcomes of civil, criminal and administrative proceedings. To this end, this project raises the following questions: what kind of institutional design is being adopted to control and hold the police that kills accountable? What are the challenges to the accountability of the police that kill in the United States, a country that, just as Brazil, produces, through police and prisons, "differentiated citizenship"? (Smith, 2010; González, 2017). What do different actors consider to be the institutional nodes regarding police accountability? Methodological strategy consists in conducting an exploratory research in a social, political and institutional context different from Brazil, such as the United States, using various techniques of data collection. The analysis of public documents collected in Brazil has indicated the need for a systemic look to understand police lethality and state responses to it, which includes administrative control bodies, the Public Prosecutor's Office and the Judiciary in the same analytical lens. It is understood that comparative perspectives regarding the control of excessive use of force in the United States and Latin America, as developed at the Harvard Kennedy School, can contribute theoretically and methodologically to the construction of new categories and analytical milestones about the problem of the doctoral research project developed in Brazil. (AU)

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