The Inspector-General of Police Hillary Mutyambai has ordered the immediate arrest and suspension of a police officer who shot and killed a cobbler at Lessos in Nandi County earlier today.
Residents, who stormed the streets to protest the killing alleged that the police officer shot the physically challenged man identified as Lazarus Kirop for not wearing a mask.
But in a statement on Thursday, Police Spokesperson Charles Owino stated that the shooting followed the arrest of a boda boda operator who was carrying two passengers.
Owino said boda boda operators, who were protesting the arrest of their colleague attacked police officers as he was being escorted to Lessos Police Station.
According to Owino, the boda boda operators attempted to snatch a rifle from the arresting officer leading to the fatal shooting of the 40-year-old.
Protests that ensued afterwards led to the killing of two other people by police.
“Officers then withdrew back to the station but were followed by a riotous mob who caused damage to sections of the station and burnt down the house of the Officer Commanding Station (OCS). Attempts to bar the irate crowd from further causing destruction to the station were in vain, leading to the fatal shooting of two more, ” the statement reads.
“The National Police Service of Kenya reiterates its commitment to its highest ideal of service for all, Utumishi Kwa Wote and holds the position that no officer is allowed to take the law into their own hands.
“We have informed the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IP0A) for action as stipulated in law. We commit to take stern disciplinary action against any other officer found culpable, ” the statement adds.
IPOA had earlier announced that it had launched a probe into the incident.
“…IPOA dispatched its Rapid Response Investigation team, which is already at the scene and has initiated investigations into the matter with a view of establishing how the shooting happened and if the force used was necessary,” read a statement by IPOA Chairperson Anne Makori.
“On conclusion of its investigations, the Authority will make appropriate recommendations if culpability is established. IPOA supports officers who undertake their work professionally but will not hesitate to take action, in accordance with its mandate, on the few who are found to break the same laws they are supposed to enforce.”