5 Unforgettable Cases of Police Brutality in Kenya
Over the past few months, there have been incidences and reports of police brutality that have been in the limelight. According to the constitution, Police are given power to enforce law, but some crude policemen take it upon their hands and enforce it using heinous ways that later lead to death.
In 2020 alone, slightly over 20 people lost their lives in Kenya at the hands of police officers. It remains unclear whether justice was exercised.
Some of the notable police brutality cases in Kenya are:
1. Kianjokoma Brothers.
Benson Njiru, 22, and his younger brother Emmanuel Mutura, 19, were found dead three days after being arrested for allegedly breaking COVID-19 rules. During the arrest, a witness said he saw police officers assaulting them. They would later be found dead on Wednesday, August 4 with multiple head and rib injuries caused by a crude weapon, as the Autopsy stipulated.
2. Baby Pendo
Samatha Pendo is another victim of police brutality when chaos broke out in Kisumu after the announcement of presidential results in 2017. Widely known as Baby Pendo, the girl succumbed to injuries after she was hit by a police officer who stormed their house at night during the post-election turmoil. A post-mortem conducted on Pendo revealed she suffered severe injuries on the back of her head.
It was reported that the tool used was sharp. Investigations commenced on the matter and five police commanders, who were involved in the operations, were found to bear the highest responsibility in her murder and they were charged in a court of law.
3. Kwekwe Mwandaza.
In the month of Febraury 2016, two police officers were convicted and jailed for manslaughter regarding the killing of a teenager, Kwekwe Mwandaza, in Kwale in 2014. Kwekwe died of a gunshot wound to the head from a high-powered rifle and another shot to the chest after 13 police officers stormed her home in Maweu village.
In their defense, the officers said they went to Maweu during an operation to pursue criminals thus charged with manslaughter which is a lesser offense compared to murder.
4. Kibabii University.
In another incident, a Kibabii University student was shot dead in Trans Nzioa county by police officers who were on an operation targeting illicit brew dens in the area. Sebastian Eugene was reportedly shot more than twice on the night of Thursday, December 10, 2020, while outside their house in Namanjalala, Kwanza constituency. There were demonstrations that were conducted to curb the issue of young people dying at the hands of policemen.
5. Evans Njoroge
In another instance, Meru University was engulfed in shock and disbelief after police shot dead Meru University Student Association (MUSA) Secretary-General Evans Njoroge, on Wednesday, February 27, 2018. Witnesses alleged that police ran after him before killing him at close range, in what appeared to be a bullet to the head during student protests where the students were demonstrating.
Police brutality has continued to be a huge issue in the country and needs to have clear and auspicious ways to curb the issue.