Probe into police brutality begins

Monday May 23 2016

A riot police officer chases away a suspected Coalition for Reforms and Democracy supporter during a protest on May 16, 2016 outside the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission headquarters. Police spokesman George Kinoti has said officers would still be deployed to quell any riots but urged them to exercise maximum restraint. PHOTO | JOAN PERERUAN | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A riot police officer chases away a suspected Coalition for Reforms and Democracy supporter during a protest on May 16, 2016 outside the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission headquarters. Police spokesman George Kinoti has said officers would still be deployed to quell any riots but urged them to exercise maximum restraint. PHOTO | JOAN PERERUAN | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By ANGIRA ZADOCK
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Investigations into the brutal suppression of anti-IEBC demonstrations last week have begun even as police officers and protesters are expected back on the streets Monday morning.

However, a week after the investigations were initiated, no action has been taken against officers caught on camera brutalising protesters.

Police spokesman George Kinoti on Sunday said officers would still be deployed to quell any riots but urged them to exercise maximum restraint.

He said investigations were ongoing, adding that action would be taken against those found to have broken the law.

“We have conducted identification parades and recorded statements. Even ordinary citizens found culpable will be prosecuted,” Mr Kinoti said.

Investigators have been furnished with details of officers who were on riot duties that day.

At least five officers, including an police inspector, have been positively identified.

Though police officers engaged in suppressing riots or protecting property during riots are justified in using force, they are not allowed to do so if a demonstrator is retreating or has been subdued.

Serious force can only be justified if the conduct of the rioter is creating a substantial risk of physical harm or destruction, especially after all other methods to contain him or her have been exhausted.

Police say the investigations would only be complete if victims recorded statements or complained after seeking medical attention. They should have a medical report.

The police internal affairs unit and the Independent Oversight Policing Authority also launched their investigations into Monday, last week, brutality on protesters but are yet to release findings.