Police Killing in Kenya Deepens Aura of Menace

Jeffrey Gettleman, New York Times, November 15, 2012

John Kioko Muthini, a high school student, was playing pool with his friends a little more than two weeks ago in a slum on this city’s fringe when two police officers walked in, looking for a thief. They ordered everyone to their knees, and then, numerous witnesses said, they shot Mr. Muthini in the head.

His friends said that his last words, as he begged for his life, were “It’s not me.”

Last weekend, in a remote valley in northern Kenya, several dozen rookie police officers were sent to chase down an especially tough gang of cattle rustlers. It was dark, about 4 a.m., and the rustlers knew the officers were coming. As soon as the officers marched in, single file, they were mowed down by automatic weapons. Police officials said that at least 30 officers, maybe more, were killed, with their bodies left to fester in the sun for several days.

The two episodes were hundreds of miles apart and technically had nothing to do with each other. But beneath them was the same rotten root: a spectacularly dysfunctional national police force.

“On a scale of 1 to 10, I would give our police a 2,” said Macharia Njeru, the chairman of Kenya’s new police oversight board, citing corruption allegations, human rights abuses, extrajudicial killings, failed inquiries and lost public trust.

{snip}

In the grittier parts of this city, where people inhabit tiny tin shacks and bloated dead animals float along garbage-strewn rivers, police officers are not known as heroes. Instead, many residents see them as a menace, prowling around in dark trench coats with AK-47s slung over their shoulders, extorting money from slum dwellers and killing alleged suspects—and sometimes not even suspects but simply poor people they come across.

“They kill for free,” said one young man in the Mukuru Kayaba slum, where Mr. Muthini was shot.

{snip}

The Kenyan police force is consistently rated one of the most corrupt public institutions in East Africa. It has about 70,000 officers, with a starting salary of around $200 a month.

Young men in the Mukuru slum said the same two police officers who killed Mr. Muthini routinely shook them down for bribes, threatening to lock them up if they did not hand over the equivalent of 10 or 20 dollars, a week’s wage for most around here.

Mr. Muthini’s mother, Rose, said the police had been harassing them for months, demanding a $250 bribe, an impossible sum for a family who lives in three iron-sided rooms in a muddy slum where there are so few latrines that people relieve themselves in plastic bags and then hurl them as far away as possible—“flying toilets,” they’re called.

She acknowledged, with downcast eyes and quiet words, that her oldest son, Charles, was a petty thief whom the police were looking for the day her other son, John, was killed. {snip}

When she refused to pay off the police, she said, the officers walked away, laughing, and told her to start digging Charles’s grave.

“Police in Kenya frequently execute individuals,” reads a United Nations report from 2009t hat looked into the issue of extrajudicial killings. “Most troubling is the existence of police death squads.”

In just one five-month period in 2007, the report said, the police were suspected of killing hundreds of people.

{snip}

The Kenyan government announced on Wednesday that it was sending the army to fight the cattle rustlers. With a major election scheduled for March, many are worried about whether the police force will be able to handle the political and ethnic tensions that often explode at election time. Riots erupted along Kenya’s coast in August after a Muslim cleric was gunned down; many of his followers were convinced it was the police.

{snip}

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  • Puggg

    I wish all the black people who say we need more black cops to treat black civilians and suspects better would read and understand every word of this article.

    • StillModerated

      That would require that schools actually teach them to read. Maybe it needs to be made into a video instead.

      • Katherine McChesney

        And put on WorldStarHipHop.

    • Svigor

      I don’t. We do need more black cops to deal with black populations…and only black populations. Why inflict them on white cops?

      Actually, more black cops in general, the better. Blacks destroy gov’t legitimacy wherever they are given power.

  • StillModerated

    I miss the Irish police!

  • Eddie Willers

    Well, Amrenners, no need to look at Kenya for tales of woe, misery and general calumny in the police service…just look at Mexico.

    My first exposure to the rottenness of Mexican police came in November 2003 when I read of the lynching of three officers near the town of Panuco, Veracruz by the enraged citizenry. It seems that some local urchins and ragamuffins – all less than 10 years old – had hurled some stones and invective at said officers as they had relaxed, with a cold beer, under a shade tree. One cop, after telling the waifs to cease and desist, then un-holstered his service revolver and shot one of the kids.

    Flash forward to 2009. My sister-in-law tearfully phones our house, late of an evening, to report that her son has been kidnapped – by the police – and she needed US$10,000 in cold, hard cash to secure his release lest they throw him into the viper-pit that is the Federal penitentiary in Altamira, Tamaulipas, where the narco-gangs would probably not allow him to live unless they, too, were granted danegeld.

    Later that year, a good friend of mine is gunned down – by the police, in their uniforms and with their cars and badges of authority – in broad daylight in the parking-lot of a supermarket, as several officers attempt to winch his pickup (a late model F250) onto the back of a waiting tow-truck in order that they might deliver it to whichever rotten paymaster had given them their orders.

    In June 2010, the entire police force (some 700 officers) of the city of Tampico (my hometown at that time) is dismissed, en-masse, by the State Attorney General for corruption, criminality and assisting the generalized mayhem the narco-gangs caused. The Army is sent in and martial law is declared…at which point, discretion being the better part of valor, we made plans for a hasty departure.

    These are scenes played out across that country to the south of Texas many, many times over and with no end in sight.

    • Michael_C_Scott

      This doesn’t exactly leave me with a warm fuzzy feeling, knowing that the Mexican police and army routinely make cross-border incursions. It’s just a matter of time before they murder a US citizen on our side of the border.

      • http://twitter.com/peppermint6789 Sage Basil

        …and it will have been the fault of the White man, and the solution will be to open the border.

    • 5Sardonicus

      Unfortunately, in many Latin American countries the police are just another criminal gang. I feel sorry for the God-fearing, honest people in Mexico but I don’t want their system moving North.

    • dhs

      On reading this, I hear the words of beloved president bush II, “American values don’t stop at the border”.

  • Tim_in_Indiana

    Mr. Muthini’s mother, Rose, said the police had been harassing them for months, demanding a $250 bribe, an impossible sum for a family who lives in three iron-sided rooms in a muddy slum where there are so few latrines that people relieve themselves in plastic bags and then hurl them as far away as possible—“flying toilets,” they’re called.

    In other words, these people are not just poor but irresponsible and stupid. Even neanderthals had sense enough simply to defecate in a hole in the ground, rather than in a non-biodegradable container that they flung around to become someone else’s problem.

  • You Are Now Enriched

    These are just “isolated incidents” that shouldn’t merit our attention. We are supposed to be spending our time worrying about the “root causes” of the achievement gap and promoting more Diversity in our neighborhoods and churches.

    But we’ve taken too long, so that’s why Agend 21 will put a demographic overlay on your city that forces you to embrace the Diveristy they import into your neighborhood.

    Don’t you ever shudder to think just what the future holds, now that Whites no longer control their own destiny and are the most hated, reviled, species on the planet. To Diversity, we are all Nazis needing extermination, except our beautiful White daughter, for whom the Diversity has other plans…

  • Pelagian

    Wow! Intense. I kept thinking as I was reading this: the “injustices” American liberals worry about …

  • Svigor

    John Kioko Muthini, a high school student, was playing pool with his friends a little more than two weeks ago in a slum on this city’s fringe when two police officers walked in, looking for a thief. They ordered everyone to their knees, and then, numerous witnesses said, they shot Mr. Muthini in the head.

    This is the kind of system blacks will always create, given power.

    This is the only kind of system that “works” with blacks, insofar as anything can be said to “work.”

    The quoted sections seem to be written in an effort to shock white readers. If white readers had any clue about racial reality, the only thing they’d find shocking is the delusion that any of this is shocking.

  • Howard W. Campbell

    Shut off the welfare, and this will be the (Detroit, East St. Louis, Newark, Gary, et al) Police Department in a short time.

  • Mboya Ogutu

    @Puggg:disqus, your ilk, et al: Brilliant observations and conclusions! I too have never ever seen white police brutality on fellow whites. Never. Obviously Rodney King-types are beyond your radar so I will not perturb your carefully crafted equanimity with that. In any case who needs balance when ignorance and loathing-fear-hate works eh?

    • Charles Hastings

      Very left-wing snide comment, Oguta. We can’t expect leftists life you to observe reality, can we? Judging by your name, you have a vested interest in ignoring reality.

  • IKantunderstand

    Thirty Kenyans marched in single file and each was mowed down. Single file. These people were 100% Kenyan. Our President is 50% Kenyan. Do the math.

  • fsagas

    Kenya is supposed to be one of the more stable African countries. Which is why many people travel there.

    I guess it is not stable anymore. Not surprising.

    • Pelayo

      Africa and Stable are contradictions in terms. Every place where Blacks go, they create another Africa.

  • 5Sardonicus

    A Kenyan college student, the son of surgeons, told me that
    the recent tribal conflict was so vicious that people were trapped in a church
    that was set on fire in his hometown. When the terrified parishioners escaped
    through the windows, they were thrown back in by the angry mobs. Kenya has long
    been considered a model African country worthy of emulation.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WP6FBJWJYEU7S6TMNJS5D2BB5M Luis

      Paisan, I suspect that when most white people- particularly, from Europe and Australia- visit Bantu Africa like Kenya, they do so to look at the four-legged fauna, NOT the two-legged kind. After all, who in their right mind would want to go to the mother continent just to look at Bantus living in squalor and poverty, when they can see the same thing in Detroit, Gary and Newark, NJ, for free?

  • Mboya Ogutu

    Charles Hastings

    Lazy. By dismissively calling me a “left winger” you imagine you can go simply back to grazing your snacks in front of your plasma TV tuned to channels that rail against your boogaboos (Afrikans). Like to Fox TV .Hilarious

    Fortunately, there are pockets of humanity that still think carefully instead of simply knee-jerking & spewing conditioned prejudice by labelling whole swathes of people out of context.

    Look at the (largely) European World War 1 & 2-which is not ancient history: Millions and millions of europeans cut to pieces by modern (civilized?) weapons.There are many more examples since then…

    People like you & Puggy here are not drawing the same abusive conclusions about the caucasian race that you do about Afrikans.Howizat?

    You are still wallowing in the social-Darwinist/Edward Gibbonian (rome the “classic”)/Hegelian (what history does Afrika have?) type of mindset. This is just typical right wing, Ayn Randian solo-man-vs-nature angst.

    Every minute you are confronted with my (Afrika’s)humanity and the cognitive dissonance resulting just keeps you searching for more poison to feed your hate. What a way to “live”….

    • hastings88

      Fine, keep your humanity and your self-esteem, Mbuga. I am not interested in any of the theory or history you mention. Yes, we whites have had more than enough fratricidal violence, but that doesn’t concern you, and it certainly doesn’t mean we need you to live among us. I don’t want your people, with your criminal, dysfunctional, dependent behavior in my living space. Why are you so determined to live among whites and even breed with whites? Don’t bother answering. We know it is because your people cannot attain or maintain our level of civiliztion. You are parasites. Go away, back to your paradise in Africa.

    • dhs

      You make a good point. White men are much more effective killers than black men. It just takes more stimulation to make them aggressive. If you are lucky, you will not live to experience it. Asian men are at least as effective, but a bit more patient. They have some interesting uses for black men, but since this web site is devoted to politics not cuisine, I’ll not discuss them.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WP6FBJWJYEU7S6TMNJS5D2BB5M Luis

      Our couch-potato sugar snacks would be considered gourmet meals on the mother continent.

      And as far as the ancestors of enslaved Bantus in the U.S. going back to Africa – keep inhaling the jenkem. You’re deluded.

  • Chelly

    The mau-mau are alive and kicking!

    I politely recommend the brilliant 60s documentary Africa Addio made by Gualtiero Jacopetti and Franco Prosperi. I mean the original version, not the PC censored version that was distributed in the US. Nothing has changed and nothing will ever.

    http://video.google.co.uk/videoplay?docid=4540134202583442015

  • Mboya Ogutu

    hastings88

    hastings88: …. I am not interested in any of the theory or history you mention. Yes, we whites have had more than enough fratricidal violence, but that doesn’t concern you,

    Mboya Ogutu: So you can lift your finger from your tub of salty popcorn and wag it at Kenyans in smug see-how-they-run fashion?

    hustings88: and it certainly doesn’t mean we need you to live among us. I don’t want your people, with your criminal, dysfunctional, dependent behavior in my living space.

    Mboya Ogutu: LOL! This is hilarious. Great personages have always told us that hate and loathing is rooted in mere IGNORANCE. Till now, I was of the opinion that this was a rather simplified. I thought it had more nuance than that.I now bow humbly to the discerning WISE ONES.

    Dont you know that there are more “white” people living in Afrika than ever before? And that the rate at which things are imploding out there (GFC) more are beating paths to THE MOTHERLAND? Many quite unqualified (fake papers). What else is new?

    As for criminality & dysfunctionality-try honesty for once in your life. Contemplate your morass. If you want me to give you a run down of “white” criminality & dysfunction-just make a request sire. I dare you.
    Obviously you have a lot to learn. Thus your bizarre imbalance.

    Hustlings 88: Why are you so determined to live among whites and even breed with whites? Don’t bother answering. We know it is because your people cannot attain or maintain our level of civiliztion. You are parasites. Go away, back to your paradise in Africa.hastings88

    Mboya Ogutu: My immediate previous response covers this your rantings above. Truly you lack context, perspective,information, knowledge. IGNORANCE is a dreadful burden when one is prone to PEOPLE PHOBIA. Any raving lunatic with a little charisma can easily harness you for loathsome works. Like your ignorant posts.

    I leave you with one thought:
    Most Afrikans who come to your europe or wherever it is you call your land (do you have any sense of irony if you are in say US/Can/Aus/NZ?) do so not because they want to but because they have to.

    There are close to 1 Billion Afrikans. Most live on less than US$2/day.

    There are 100,000,000 Afrikans worth over US$1.2 Trillion.

    Most of this money is illicit as it belongs to Afrikans who now pay debts they know close to zilch about. Most of this money is banked in Europe & America.And those little islands. If you understand any economics, it will click instantly in your cranium that this lucre is helping to keep you cushy in one way or the other.
    So every time you see an Afrikan child on your plasma telly starving, with a runny nose and flies over her eyes doing the donation rounds: Contemplate the full meaning of the moment.Are you an accomplice?

    If you are genuinely sick of seeing Black people in your suburbs, then ask your governments to close up all loopholes that enable thieving big Afrikans to impoverish their fellow citizens.

    This money fyi, would make Afrika in one fell swoop- a NET CREDITOR.
    You would never see an Afrikan in your gated exclusive hood again.Even those whose ancestors were kidnapped to start you off for free will come back home. Promise.
    So toss aside your ice cream tub and chocolate biscuits, get off your backside and create a storm in the good offices of your reps.Make democrcy come alive, yeah! We will be obliged to you, like 4ever.

    Or are you just congenitally in need of the BLACK BUGABOO to feel alive? Poor hustly88!

    • hastings88

      Thank you for this window into the African thought-process. I hardly need to comment further. But I had to laugh at your statement: “Most Afrikans who come to . . . your land . . . do so not because they want to but because they have to.” Well, no, they don’t have to. You are illustrating my point about parasitism precisely.

    • Gracchus123

      Build your own civilizations. Leave us alone. And stop lying.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WP6FBJWJYEU7S6TMNJS5D2BB5M Luis

      Amazing – he says that there are 100,000 Bantus in Africa worth $ 1.2 trillion US – that are responsible for the swollen starving bellies of the Bantu children, and he STILL blames it on whitey.

  • Mboya Ogutu

    hastings88

    hastings88:….. But I had to laugh at your statement: “Most Afrikans who come to . . . your land . . . do so not because they want to but because they have to.” Well, no, they don’t have to. You are illustrating my point about parasitism precisely.

    Mboya Ogutu: You misses the point cpmpletely. Such is the baleful POWER OF IGNORANCE: One cherry picks his way through life.

    Always looking about furtively & fearfully for BOOGABOOS lurking behind them to explain their angst-ridden misery. In your case WE AFRIKANS serve your neurosis.Imagining that we want to breed you out of existence-with your womenses. LOL!! Anyway, nuff ’bout dat. The point. The point was:

    There are more whites in Afrika than EVER BEFORE. More are forging/planning/pleading/saving their way here. Square that that with your whining above.

    Secondly, Afrika’s odious debt (to keep it simple) is keeping your cushy,arrogant and judgemental as you fill your yaw with corn-based sweets, fats, sugars & salts of all hues.Topping that with a 5 litre tub of ice-cream. Your little “charities” to Afrika are nothing but window-dressing, guilt-salving masquerades.With pipsqueak impact.

    The question begs: Who really is the parasite here? I reassert, most Afrikans would rather be home than come and live with a grumpy dullard like you. That was the point. Sharpen your mind a little and drop your prejudice. Appreciate first the irony of things (are you really better than I?) then humble yourself and do something constructive to make your world a better place.No more Afrikan BUGABOO neurosis.
    Howizat.Sire?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WP6FBJWJYEU7S6TMNJS5D2BB5M Luis

    I just saw the original article. Heck, if that’s what passes for a pool hall in Kenya, then all I can say is, what TF do Kenya’s universities look like?

    Willie Mosconi, Irving Crane and Jean Balukas wouldn’t use that place for a latrine!

  • Mboya Ogutu

    Luis Its a weird coincidence! Yesterday I decided to peek at your favourite website (stormfront) and came across this jemken thing for the first time.

    I got the impression that some Blacks (in the USA) had invented some dud drug (its under the website’s “what have blacks invented” sort of discussion). I left it at that because I know there are hundreds of drugs invented by Europeans that are simply useless to dangerous.
    You might as well go back to sticking leeches up your hide to cure your anthrophobic malaise.
    Want a list? Maybe you forgot to pop one this morning-hence your knee-jerk Afrika- loathing rants.

    Anyways, now that you mention this jenken, I decided to dig a little and lo! It is an inhalant used by orphaned street children in Zambia so that they can get a high and beat the cold. It is fermented sewage. This is terrible. Terrible.

    I also come across info of a hoax that had been spread by racist (like you) yobbos in the web to make it appear that blacks in America were sniffing this thing like there was no tommorrow.

    This is why I say here to you and your ilk: Your are basically ignorant, unable to gather facts and synthesize in context: It is cherry-picking, stereotyping neurotic twerps that are used by your masters as cheerleaders of oppression. Or do you a hereditary peasant like you think that your feudalism is over?

  • Mboya Ogutu

    Luis Speaking of cherry-picking: your blasted comment about 100,000 “bantu” with $1.2 trillion (stashed in the west) is thick-minded.

    Read what I have put in the (brackets) for you in the sentence prior to this one.

    So here is the lesson for you and your pack:

    a) I have proven that you lot (racists) are unable to deal with facts properly

    b) congenital cherry-pickers

    c) one of you (hustling88) has morbid fears of blacks out-breeding him-is this shared by you too luis? Is this the crux of your beef ‘gainst Afrikans?

    d) in a nutshell IGNORANCE runs your mind.This is your choice.
    I would urge you to find meaning for why you are here.Thus far you have fallen to being just blob grazing on sugary,fatty rubbish as you change fat-paw-finger thru channels looking to see your BUGABBOO (blacks) down. Yet deep inside your malevolent, chemical-twisted & undernourished spirit, you know you are sickly. This need to hate…..
    Well BOOHOO!!
    We na go nowhere. We gwan breed teel we fill dis here earth.Start it anew-like.
    No more hate, lies, slavery, colonialism, neo-colonialism, capitalist (1%) globalization, racism. So there!

  • Mboya Ogutu

    @7b272bcd9ca0ddb3dd6011544773cdc0:disqus Show me where I lie here. Don’t be Simpleton racist. Show a bit of sophistication.

    And I will still maw you down!

    If you left Afrika alone-we would indeed build our civilization. This is too deep for you. You are conditioned to think (for lack of a better term) the way you do. No point in making your eyes glaze over. You want easy-peazy sort of stuff right?
    Like black (stupid) white (glorious), period.Sleeping canines are best left at it……