The brutal deaths of a father-son duo in judicial custody in Tamil Nadu’s Tuticorin district have sent shockwaves across the country and the globe. On June 18, Sathankulam police admonished J. Bennix (32) for keeping his small mobile phone and accessories shop open for 15 minutes beyond the state-government-imposed curfew of 8 pm the during the COVID-19. Bennix was alleged to have badmouthed the officers, and the angered police officers returned on June 19 to follow up.
Tag: Police violence
In light of the ongoing protests against police brutality in the USA following the police killing of George Floyd, some Kenyans have castigated their compatriots for caring about problems that are far away while ignoring the same issues in Kenya.
While it is true that many people do not take the problem of police violence in Kenya seriously, this blanket assumption that all Kenyans do not care is not only misguided, it also erases the work of many individuals and organisations have done to fight against police brutality in Kenya. There are many Kenyans who have dedicated their lives to addressing this challenge.
On 25 May, George Floyd – a handcuffed and unarmed Black man – was killed by white police officer Derek Chauvin, who knelt on his neck. His death was yet more devastating evidence of the racism that continues to structure lethal police violence in the United States. In the wake of his death and amidst the protests that have followed, there have been a series of powerful commentaries that put this violence in context, highlighting the systemic nature of lethal police and civilian violence against Black people. Here, we highlight a few of these resources. They serve as a reminder that, in order to understand policing in lockdown, we have to understand the structure of society and practice of policing in which it is embedded.
‘If only they could deploy more soldiers and police for effective enforcement’, Zukiswa wrote, efforts to contain Covid-19 might be successful. Like almost half of the residents in Khayelitsha, Zukiswa lives in informal housing. Throughout the crisis, she has seen little of the police or army in her area, save when they were closing down shebeens. During the Easter weekend, however, she was ‘traumatised’ when the Metro Police forcibly evicted residents of the informal settlement Empolweni from their homes and ‘harassed the people and abused them’.