A 21-year-old Kenyan woman was tied and dragged with a motorbike by one of three police officers, who were accusing her of robbery. In a viral video captured by onlookers, the woman was whipped by another person as she pleads for them to stop.
The three police officers have since been arrested.
According to the Kenya Standard newspaper, the incident occurred on Sunday in Olenguruone, a town about 250km (155 miles) north-west of the capital, Nairobi. It was a crowd in a town in the western county of Nakuru, who were brave enough to intervene.
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The victim, Mercy Cherono is receiving treatment at the hospital for a broken leg and other injuries. In the video, the woman’s trousers were dragged down to her knees as she was hurled across the dusty road by the motorbike and a crowd surrounded her at the end of the video.
“Three @PoliceKE officers were yesterday arrested by @DCI_Kenya Detectives following circulation of a video depicting a woman being whipped & dragged on a motorbike in Kuresoi South Sub-County,” the police directorate tweeted on Thursday.
“I don’t know how I survived this,” Mercy Cherono told Kenya’s Standard newspaper about her encounter with the officers shortly after watching the one-and-a-half minute viral clip that has been widely shared on social media.
“I pleaded for mercy, but the officer couldn’t hear none of that. All this time I was not aware of the crime I was being punished for,” she said.
According to Citizen TV, Cherono was accused of being a member of a gang of three who stole some items from a police officer’s house.
Kenyan police have been accused severally of brutality. In 2011, an independent government watchdog supported by donor funds namely the Independent Police Oversight Authority received complaints of police misconduct.
A preliminary investigation by the watchdog last week revealed that the police is responsible for 15 deaths and 31 cases of injury since March 27. The spike in the brutality surged when Kenya imposed a dawn-dusk curfew to help the country curb the spread of COVID-19, BBC reported.
Sadly, 13-year-old Yassin Moyo was among those killed during this period. However, Police spokesperson Charles Owino said Moyo’s incident was an accident because all the police officer wanted to do at the time was to disperse the crowd by firing warning shots into the air, shots that killed Moyo on his balcony.
Police violence has spread across Kenya and a UN human rights report indicates that the violence is evident in 182 communities.