The father of a man who was fatally shot by police in Eastleigh, Nairobi on Saturday morning has admitted that his son was a petty thief – and that he has come to terms with his death, saying “his forty days had ended”.
Dahir Kheir Roble has pleaded with the government to surrender the body of his 16-year-old son, namely Mohamed Khadar, to the family for burial.
“He used not to carry a knife or a gun loaded with bullets. But, yes, he was a petty thief, a pick pocket. I am pleading with the government to surrender his body to us for burial according to Islamic practice,” said Mr Roble at his Eastleigh home.
A section of Kenyans had taken to social media to condemn an act, captured on video, of a police officer dressed in civilian clothes wielding a pistol and shooting severally at an already badly injured man on the ground in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
In the footage shot from a balcony, one man is seen lying in a pool of blood on the street while 16-year-old Mohamed Khadar is confronted by three men, two of them holding pistols. Khadar was, a few minutes later, shot dead too. This was after several bullets fired by one of the officers tore through his body.
Nairobi County Police Boss, Japheth Koome, says Khadar was part of a notorious gang – known as Superpower – that has been terrorising residents of Eastleigh and other parts of Eastlands in Nairobi.
Mr Koome says despite outrage over the shooting – which a section has termed as an extra judicial execution, he has no apology to make over the action taken by ‘his officers’.
Mr Koome added that “the man who was fatally shot had shot dead two officers in Nairobi in a span of one week; and that he won’t sit and watch as his officers get killed”.
“SUSPECTED GANGSTER HAD KILLED TWO OF MY OFFICERS”
“Do not worry about that incident. You know one thing I will tell you, we, as police service, have a responsibility to ensure you leave your place of work and get to your home safely; we have a responsibility to protect life and property. It is not a small responsibility, it is enormous!”
“We have a responsibility to ensure that your children, as you work, are able to reach school safely – and get home safely. But where people start kidnapping your children because they know you have some money to pay, we are not going to allow that,” Mr Koome told Citizen Digital on phone.
“Actually, as we are talking, I am in Meru County burying my officer namely Corporal Mwiti who was shot dead last Saturday night. The same gangster – in that footage that has been widely shared online – shot dead my officer last night in Kayole.”
“VIDEO SHARED ON SOCIAL MEDIA WAS EDITED”
Mr Koome says the video clip that has been widely shared on social media was edited to a shorter version so as to paint the police in bad light – and consequently elicit fury among Kenyans – and that the whole clip, had it been posted, would have painted a clearer picture of why the officer decided to kill the suspected gangsters on the spot.
“Have you looked at the video clip shared online? It is edited. Why doesn’t the video show – extensively – what transpired before the shooting? Somebody is trying to blackmail the police. We won’t allow that! Let us have credible evidence (that my officers acted extra judicially). But mkora yeyote, I am sorry, Koome has no time for that one. I am not sorry for what happened.
“So, do I continue burying my officers as criminals are being protected by other people, who want to go to the social media to edit video clips and share widely? Tell them Koome is not discouraged and will pursue the criminals to the bitter end. All gangsters must stop disturbing Kenyans. There are other business opportunities to pursue but not crime,” said Koome.
Blogger Cyprian Nyakundi had claimed on Twitter that the police officer, who shot dead the suspected gangsters, is called Abdurshid and “is always called upon in eliminations, people say he brags about eliminating chaps,” Mr Koome refutes the claims. “That is what you call hearsay evidence,” he said.
Even as the debate rages on social media whether the police’s action was uncalled for – and should be prosecuted, the Independent Medico-Legal Unit (IMLU), which is a registered non-governmental organization that seeks to promote the rights of torture victims, public interest litigation and protect Kenyans from all forms of State perpetrated torture, condemned the killing terming it “cold blooded murder”.
“IMLU condemns misuse of firearms either by civilians or police officers and calls upon IPOA and IAU to move with speed to investigate alleged police involvement in this cold blooded murder,” said the NGO in a statement to newsrooms.
The Inspector General of Police, Joseph Boinnet, has condemned the killing of the two robbery suspects and has ordered investigations into the incident.
Boinnet’s statement comes as the Law Society of Kenya (LSK) has vowed to take legal action against the officers who propagated the killings.
IPOA LAUNCHES INVESTIGATIONS
The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has launched investigations into the alleged extra judicial killing in Eastleigh, saying, in a statement to newsroom: “IPOA this morning dispatched its Rapid Response Unit to investigate the incident with a view of establishing circumstances of the shooting and if there is culpability ensuring those responsible face the full force of the law.”