In the heat of Kenya’s infamous post-election violence in December 2007, a police officer was filmed firing at a protestor in Kisumu. It was a close-range shot and the man collapsed and died under the hail of police bullets.
“Not true,” said the then police spokesman. “Treat the video in the same manner as ‘Rambo’ films. It’s fiction.”
Deny, deny, deny! It is the police’s stock-in-trade whenever they are caught in an embarrassing situation. Even when the truth is unimpeachable, facts immutable.
Yesterday, a video widely circulated online showed three men on motorcycle snatching a mobile phone from a traffic police officer at Roysambu roundabout, Thika Road. The policeman was directing traffic while speaking through the phone closely held to his ear. The daring thugs, riding two on the pillion, snatch the phone leaving the cop nonplussed.
“Our investigations have revealed that a video circulating on social media insinuating to be of a police officer being snatched a phone is a manipulated video whose intention is malicious,” says the National Police Service in a social media post. “We urge members of the public to ignore it.”
Manipulated or not, the video is a commentary on Nairobi’s runaway petty crime, and many residents feel police should step up and reign in the thugs.