Some 21 people have died in the hands of police officers implementing the social distancing guidelines, including the observance of curfew hours and the wearing of face masks, in the last two months of battling the coronavirus pandemic.
Independent Policing Oversight Authority’s (Ipoa) preliminary investigation report released on June 2, shows that injuries victims sustained are directly linked to actions of police officers from 31 incidents during the curfew enforcement.
Out of the 21 fatalities, Ipoa said 15 deaths were established in its initial investigations.
The authority’s chairperson Anne Makori said Ipoa has dispatched rapid response teams to establish the circumstances that led to six other fatalities in the latest incidents.
“They include two fatalities within Katanin village in Nandi on May 29; the gunning down of a man in Mathare, Nairobi on June 1, the fatal shooting of three family members in Kwale on May 30, as well as shooting of a woman at a police roadblock in Emali, Makueni on May 31,” she said in a statement.
Number of complaints Since March 27, the authority has received 87 complaints against police officers when heightened security measures were put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19 pandemic and in particular, the dusk-to-dawn curfew.
Makori said all these cases are at different stages of investigations.
She assured the public that 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.