EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE

APOLLO JOAB: Police brutality getting out of hand

Cops should understand they have a cardinal duty to protect lives

In Summary

•Ironically, people are losing their lives during the enforcement of curfew rules whose objective is to save lives from the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

•There is no other way of bringing this ignominy to an end than bringing to book all police officers engage in crime.

A mural of police brutality in Kibra's Kamukunji grounds by Detail Seve on June 4, 2020.
A mural of police brutality in Kibra's Kamukunji grounds by Detail Seve on June 4, 2020.
Image: MERCY MUMO

“Utumishi kwa wote” may be an appeasing maxim to a populace beset by social evils, but the Kenyan men and women in uniform are not living up to its spirit.

When the police take the law into their hands instead of enforcing it, people are left to their own devices.

Every passing day, we are losing men and women in their prime age, a generation whose skills, talents and energy ought to be utilised in nation-building initiatives; a generation whose only mistake is trying to eke out a living through every possible legal means.

Even hardcore criminals are taken through a justice system to establish the truth, not clobbered to death.

Ironically, people are losing their lives during the enforcement of curfew rules whose objective is to save lives from the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

Worst is that the suspects are the very people mandated with the duty of protecting their lives — the police.

From the bloodcurdling ordeal of the Kianjokama brothers to the cold-blood murder of the Kayole man, we are witnessing an ugly trend that pits the police against the masses, a recipe for disorder.

When people can no longer trust its law enforcement agencies, the rule of the jungle takes centre stage and the country regresses to the horrific levels of failed states.

This country has great laws stipulated in the Constitution. No section of our country's laws gives the police or the civilians the leeway to kill.

Suspects are deemed innocent till proven guilty.

Justice takes its course in the courts and at no one time is an individual bestowed upon the power to take the law into their hands.

Our policemen and women are turning out to be an eyesore to the country.

They are even killing themselves, incidents that have been blamed on depression.

Cases of police officers extorting bribery from civilians are innumerable.

So much so that Justice is always for the highest bidder.

There is no other way of bringing this ignominy to an end than bringing to book all police officers engage in crime.

Let the police understand they have a cardinal duty to protect lives.

Freelance journalist and writer

Edited by Kiilu Damaris