The pictures and videos of police walloping, clobbering and generally running a mock on citizens, they swore to protect is offensive and contravenes every notion of the so called policing by consent philosophy. Certainly, I for one refuse to be policed by goon aping officers who in today’s dispersion of protesters, appeared to have come from times in our undemocratic past.
I thought the law only allowed cops the use of necessary force. That I am sure does not include kicking and bashing a rioter who is already on the ground. Even if the victims were looters or other criminals the force used was far in excess of anything that can be argued in any law. No police man seemed to be in a life threatening situation on the contrary each victim had 2-3 officers striking out at him some of the pictures showed officers hitting floored Kenyans on the head and in other tender regions with buttons Oh my God!
One reason Kenya will remain within the definition of banana republic will surely be the unprofessional behavior of officer under the command of the state as we saw today. I probably should say here and now, I am not a CORD supporter nor am I a Jubilee hater but today the videos of what happened have really upset me. Nothing short of a full enquiry as to why, should take place and those culpable punished. In addition the GoK should pay the hospital bills for those it injured illegally today.
It appeared to me that the police were fast to lash out with tear gas they seemed to be the ones who panicked the protesters. Either way the National Police Service was responsible for providing security and they failed miserably, they failed shop keepers, business owners in the area, they failed the genuine protestors and they failed the entire country by proving how unprofessional an agency they still are so many years after Moi. A good incident commander should have planned for the likelihood of looting and should have positioned in likely streets an anti looting squad probably in plains cloths with handcuffs and stun guns (which I am sure the police still don’t have) etc. Another plains cloths team should have intermingled with the crowd to identify possible criminals or riot ring leaders early. As for the uniformed units why not cordon off safe areas for the protest early so and monitor outlaying zones to ensure those not involved are not interfered with. A really advanced police service would have video teams out to capture the entire incident for future analysis and identification of the law breakers.
The force displayed today seemed extra motivated almost as if encouraged or sponsored by more than just the job or its official pay. Could there have been other motivation, my guess is as good as yours. When I look at today’s violent put down of dissenting opinion I cannot fail to wonder if this type of thing isn’t why our IG couldn’t be selected by a commission and approved by parliament with some security of tenure included. A professional like Mr. Boinnet doesn’t seem to be the type to order such punches below the belt on his own people.
Finally what will happen now, well CORD is sure to gain a lot of sympathy votes. The ruling party ought to quickly review history, Jesus Christ, Martin Luther, Indra Gandhi, the second liberation-Kenya among many other peaceful revolutions. The thing that most served to fan those fires was badly disguised official brutality, force, vicious repercussion and obstinate refusal to consider views of a large portion of the populace. The president has the best opportunity to demonstrate statesmanship and steer our nation away from this violent route early.