Last week in an article titled; POLICE KILL 15 SUSPECTED THUGS IN THREE WEEKS the Kenya Forum raised concerns over the recent cases of police shootings that had left about 15 people dead in the last three weeks.
The weekend incident that saw a woman killed when the police opened fire on occupants of a car at Nairobi’s City Park becomes the latest statistic.
According to the police, the occupants of the car parked the car at the park and “took a bit too so long to disembark” prompting the curiosity of the police and when the latter approached the car, the driver speed off and the police opened fire.
A female occupant, on the passenger seat, was shot and died while receiving treatment and the male driver was also injured in the incident.
Although the police say they could not take any chances in these days of terrorism, opening fire to unarmed civilians was definitely not the best way to respond to the situation. While we don’t have the information on who the victims are, and why they sped off on seeing the police one thing is evident; Wananchi dread the Kenyan police! Not because they are always up to no good, but because the typical policemen in this country right from the traffic officers will always find something to take you in for with purposes of extorting money from you in their traditional “toa kitu kidogo” (give us something small), which ideally is never that small.
KENYA LEADS IN EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS
A 2017 report by amnesty international revealed that Kenya takes the lead in Africa as the country with the highest number of extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the police.
According to the 2016/17 report by Amnesty International, 122 cases of extrajudicial killings had been reported by October 2016, noting that the number could be higher since there is no official database of such cases.
The Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), which was established to provide for civilian oversight over the work of the Police, also within the same issued a statement decrying the rising number of police brutality and a high number of complainants received from wananchi.
According to the IPOA, since it was established it had as at 2016 received a total of 5,041 complaints and the number of complaints against police officers rose from 594 in 2012/13 to 860 in 2013/14 financial year before spiking to 1,792 in 2014/15. The figure as at April 2017 stood at 1,825 complaints, with Nairobi County making up for the highest number, at 37.46 per cent.
Out of the 860 complaints received in the year 2013/14 50 cases were of deaths caused by police action, 176 on harassment by police and 60 on serious injuries sustained by people in the hands of police.
Police were also on the spot for extra-judicial killings witnessed across the country following the August 2017 general elections.
A report released by The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR) in October 2017 revealed that 37 Kenyans lost their lives during the three-day unrest that erupted in sections of the country following the IEBC declaration of the Presidential results on 11th August 2017 at 10.00 p.m.