Police violence has been a common feature among old and new democracies. Police violence and killings are common tools deployed by the state in the fabrication and maintenance of a social and racial hierarchical order in much of the Western world, and particularly in Brazil. Police power represent the sovereign’s power to use force, including lethal force. In São Paulo’s favelas, police violence is used to impose order, what residents call the “law of the hill.” Yet, the violence to impose order is also exercised by the PCC, a criminal organization, which controls much of the territory and Imposes what is called the “law of the hill.” This chapter examines how residents of these spaces learn to live within these two legal systems and sometimes deploy the law to resist violence. It analyzes how both legal systems are experienced in the ground and how these experiences affect the law.
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