Officer involved in scuffle with motorist suspended

Tuesday January 3 2017

police officer

A screen grab from a video showing a police officer tugging a motorist in Kericho on January 1, 2017. PHOTO | COURTESY 

TIMOTHY KEMEI
By TIMOTHY KEMEI
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A police officer accused of harassing a motorist in Kericho County has been suspended.

Kericho County Police Commander James Mugera told reporters that the officer has been suspended indefinitely to allow for investigations into the matter.

"An inquiry file has been opened to clearly establish the circumstances of the incident and our finding will be made public and appropriate action taken against anyone found to be on the wrong.

"Meanwhile, the concerned officer has been interdicted from duty to pave [the] way for investigations," reads part of Mr Mugera’s statement.

Earlier, the police boss had defended the actions of the junior officer.

Mr Mugera said the female officer was not at fault because the motorist was resisting arrest.

In a 20-second video circulating on social networking site Twitter, the officer is seen tugging a woman, who is holding onto a car window, on the Chepseon-Kericho highway.

But Mr Mugera told journalists that the accused, who identified herself as Marie Obara, had been stopped by police at the Kaisugu Tea Factory near Kericho town for speeding.

"When she was informed that she had been speeding, she disputed [the charge] and in the process demanded to be shown the video clip of her speeding.

"As she was waiting for that to happen, other passengers in the vehicle started arguing with the police officer.

"At that point, it became necessary to have the motorist arrested and escorted to the Kericho Police Station for further action.

"That is where the tussle began, because the lady resisted arrest," Mr Mugera said.

But on her Twitter page, Ms Obara denied having driven the vehicle and said the officer harassed her in the 3pm incident on Sunday.

Mr Mugera, however, urged police officers to always conduct themselves professionally.

He also said the officer will be required to write a report about the incident.