In some countries, killer cops are celebrated

Sadly familiar in Manila

POLICE in the United States kill roughly 1,000 people a year. No other rich country comes close. Finnish police fired only six bullets in 2013, fewer than half the number that one Chicago cop put into Laquan McDonald, a black teenager, in 2014 as he was walking away.

Next to police in some poorer countries, though, America’s cops look almost Nordic. Police in El Salvador are 22 times deadlier. Cops in Rio de Janeiro, a Brazilian state with just 17m inhabitants, killed more people in 2017 than all of America’s police. (In February Brazil’s president ordered the army to take over policing Rio.) In countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and the Philippines it is impossible to say even roughly how many people the police kill, but it is a lot. “Police brutality is as common as water,” says Justus Ijeoma, a human-rights activist in Nigeria’s Anambra state.

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