15 people have been killed by police and 31 others left with serious injuries as the authorities implement government measures aimed at containing the spread of the novel Coronavirus, the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has revealed.
The incidents, IPOA says, are directly linked to enforcement of the dusk to dawn curfew which was imposed by the government in March following the outbreak of Covid-19 in Kenya.
In a statement on Tuesday, IPOA said about 87 complaints which include deaths, shootings, harassment, assaults resulting to serious injuries, robbery, inhuman treatment and sexual assault are under investigation.
“After preliminary investigations, fifteen (15) deaths and thirty-one (31) incidents where victims sustained injuries have directly been linked to actions of police officers during the curfew enforcement,” reads a statement signed by IPOA chairperson Anne Makori.
Makori said that the authority has launched investigation into the latest incidents of police brutality that led to the death of six people.
They include the gunning down of a man in Mathare, Nairobi on June 1, 2020, shooting of a woman at a police roadblock in Emali on May 31, 2020, the fatal shooting of three family members in Kwale on May 30, 2020 as well as two fatalities within Katanin Village, Kabiyet Sub-County, Nandi County on May 29, 2020.
“Upon conclusion of the investigations and pursuant to Section 6(a) of the Act, the Authority will make recommendations, including prosecution if criminal culpability is established on the part of the police officers involved,” said IPOA.
The Mathare case has received condemnation from Kenyans on Twitter who demand that cops who shot dead a homeless man for allegedly defying curfew be brought to book.
The man identified as Vaite was shot after he was found outside during curfew hours.
Hundreds of residents stormed the streets to protest Vaite’s killing on Monday night.
The incident comes at a time human rights activists across the world continue to condemn the recent killing of a Black American man killed by a white Minneapolis police officer.
In a viral footage, George Floyd, 46, died after the white cop knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground helpless. Other officers watched from a distance.