By Dorcas S
In keeping with the trend from the last article, let me dispense with a few house-keeping items:
First and foremost, no one has a monopoly on patriotism or nationalism. Similarly, no one has a monopoly on support for the “wo/men in blue” or “wo/men in uniform”. Finally, calling out police brutality and incompetent governance does not make one less patriotic or less nationalistic than some who doesn’t.
In fact, I’d argue that if more people spoke out AND voted against poor governance and police brutality, maybe, just maybe the country would be in better shape to wit: Silence in the face of an injustice is tacit approval of said injustice.
That said, the country’s social media is still abuzz over the daylight execution of the second of two gang members in the crime-ridden Eastleigh section of Nairobi.
Both the image and identity of the plain-clothed policeman seen standing over the prostrate and subdued suspect have been splashed across the media – locally and internationally. Likewise, the sequence of images and sounds of the officer pumping multiple bullets into the suspect’s body, getting a second gun from a colleague and unloading the clip into the now-limp body followed by a classic coup d’grace single round on the head have elicited cheers and jeers, I’d argue in equal parts.
I will reiterate my position:
Absolutely nothing justifies the degeneration of the country’s law enforcement into the very depravity they are supposed to protect the public from.
Given the wide support voiced in favor of the extra-judicial killing of the gang member, it is not surprising that the police continue to behave like the very criminals they are supposed to be battling!
Those cheering the unlawful behavior of the officer seen shooting the suspect reminds me of the public support offered then-candidates and crimes-against-humanity suspects Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto. The same society that supported, as their president and deputy president, individuals accused of violating the civil and human rights of defenseless Kenyans, some taking refuge in a place of worship members, have rushed to the defense of persons accused of violating the civil and human rights of a defenseless Kenyan – in a supine position – on the ground.
It is reaction that belies the values Kenya claims to hold dear and image it tries to project to the rest of the world: That of a peaceful and democratic society that respects the rights of its citizenry and presumes that all are innocent until proven guilty. The fact is, the truth regarding the values Kenyans hold dear is somewhere in the middle; between a peaceful democratic society that respects human rights and a state teetering on failed statehood.
Additionally, the battle between those who support the actions of the officer and those who don’t is a microcosm of the larger society.
Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former National Security Advisor was recently advised by his lawyer to seek immunity from prosecution in exchange for a tell-all sit-down with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
The agency is investigating Russia’s role in the 2016 US Elections.
What does Michael Flynn’s offer to tell all he knows (to the FBI) in exchange for immunity have to do with the extra-judicial murder of a subdued gang member in Eastleigh?
From accounts in the media, the 2nd teenager who was already subdued was a member of a notorious gang that had been terrorizing and threatening citizens in Eastleigh. Along with his other dead colleague, he was also connected to the larger and more feared Gaza Posse.
Why didn’t the Kenyan authorities take the 2nd suspect into custody and squeeze, literally and figuratively, any and all intelligence out of him? Why didn’t the authorities offer the wanna-be-gangsta immunity and a new beginning, away from his then-current dead-end life in exchange for information regarding Who, What, When, How and Where about his fellow thugs.
That is what good and effective law enforcement does. It takes a singular thread of evidence, oftentimes as small as a strand of hair or as microscopic as DNA sample and follows it to its end. Think the stain on Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress.
In this case, law enforcement had a live witness.
Now ask yourself why this standard law enforcement technique was not applied in this instance: Why didn’t the officer take the 2nd suspect into custody for further questioning? Could it be because:
– Law enforcement had ALL the intelligence they needed?
– Law enforcement had just lost a colleague, at the hands of a fellow gang member of the 2nd suspect and overcome with emotions, enacted revenge?
– The officer who pulled the trigger wasn’t in the loop re: the on-going investigations of Gaza?
– Dead men don’t tell tales?
The fact is we will never know now will we?
The same law enforcement agency that promised to “leave no stone unturned” investigating the extra-judicial murder of the 2nd suspect is the same law enforcement whose employee pulled the trigger and ended the life of the 2nd suspect.