This place is well and truly fucked in every sense of the word imaginable.
Lee says he was initially pulled over and then...
Despite the search including one of the officers “grabbing my genital area, which was quite a surprise,” nothing initially seemed too out of the ordinary for Lee. He was then told, though, he was driving illegally since foreigners without a passport are not allowed to drive in Brazil.
“I now know (that) isn't the case at all,” Lee told stuff.co.nz. “The rental car company hadn't mentioned that to me."
The officers then demanded Lee pay 2,000 Brazilian Reais (about U.S. $600) or they would arrest him and turn him over to federal authorities. Lee didn’t have that much cash on him, so according to his account, he was forced to drive the wrong way down the highway before being transferred into an unmarked car and taken to an ATM.
It was clear to Lee the officers knew they were acting nefariously, as they made efforts not to be seen and warned him not to report the incident.
Lee has been living in Rio for about a year with his partner, Laura McQuillan, a journalist who does contract work for Stuff, the publication to which he gave his account.
"I don't think I've ever felt like I could possibly die," he said. But in a Facebook post that has since been deleted, Lee wrote, "I'm not sure what's more depressing, the fact this stuff is happening to foreigners so close to the Olympic Games or the fact that Brazilians have to live in a society that enables this absolute bullshit on a daily basis.
"This place is well and truly fucked in every sense of the word imaginable."
Please follow us on Twitter for exclusive stories, Like us on Facebook, Or return home for award winning writing.