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IG Koome takes action against officer caught firing teargas inside car with journalists

IG Japheth Koome has recommended action to be taken against an officer caught firing teargas inside car with journalists

Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome

Inspector General of Police, Japhet Koome, has addressed the viral videos of the officer caught smashing and throwing teargas into an Azimio vehicle during the mass action protests on Thursday, March 30.

Speaking at the Kenya School of Government, where the interviews for the new deputy Inspector General of Police are on, Koome said the officer will be arrested and charged as any other suspect would.

The Azimio vehicle was being used for accommodating mainstream media during the coverage of the protests.

During the Thursday protests in Nairobi’s pipeline estate, an ununiformed police officer was recorded smashing the windows of a Toyota Prado and lobbing teargas canisters inside the vehicle at close range.

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Koome also apologized to journalists who were injured by police while covering the protests, stating that the injuries were accidental and not intentional.

“Some of us have relatives and close friends who are journalists, like some of you I'm seeing here. My close friends, I cannot wake up one day with the intention to harm you,” Koome said.

He promised that, under his leadership, the media and the police would work together to serve Kenyans without any conflict.

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The Media Council of Kenya he council documented 25 cases of attacks on local and foreign journalists at the hands of state and non-state actors since the start of the demonstrations.

According to the council, camerapersons and photographers have been the most targeted by perpetrators of acts of hooliganism and criminality.

The CEO of MCK, David Omwoyo, condemned the attacks, stating that the attack on journalists was an attack on democracy in the country.

"Journalists are not contestants in the current political processes and it is an unwarranted, gross violation of human rights and an impediment to democracy to target them, while knowing they have a duty to inform the public on such matters of public interest," Omwoyo said.

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While the protests have been halted, a number of officers, journalists and other civillians continue to recuperate from injuries they sustained.

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