Kenyan police probe online brutality posts
Kenyan police on Sunday launched investigation into pictures doing round on the social media, showing police officers harshly whipping and walking over some unidentified youth in undisclosed location in Garissa County in northeast region.
The frightening pictures have sparked outrage and anger from leaders and human right activists in and out of the social-sphere, with many demanding for immediate arrest and prosecution of the officers.
Acting Garissa County Police Commander Shadrack Maithya said he was concerned about the pictures circulated on the Facebook and Twitter, noting that it was unethical and unprofessional for any security agent to humiliate civilian whether suspects or not.
The photos were posted by officer with Facebook account under the name Michaek Orita, who, sources told the media, is a senior officer at the department of crime in Garissa County.
The pictures showing the youth lying flat on their bellies on red soil, identified by many as Modika area, shows an officer in plain uniform with assault rifle in his left hand whipping his victims lying in rows after rows, while his colleagues in full uniform hold onto a police vehicle stationed at the rear. And there white land cruiser similar to one used by anti-terrorist police in Garissa also standing at the background.
“These Somali young men came to Garissa for a purpose but little did they know we are smarter than them. Their scheme ended in court, we shall not relent on security issues,” read the face book post with the three photos.
Social media was abuzz with reactions following the emerging of grisly photos. And there are calls for the immediate arrest of the police officer.
Asked whether there was an officer by the name of the account user (Micheal Orita), Maithya said “I’m new in Garissa County and I can’t for sure say whether I have such a person or not for now.”
“And even if we found we have such person in our force, we can’t conclusively say he is responsible without our investigation proofing that. People can create names under other peoples’ name and misuse them,” the county police commander said.