The Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai has addressed video clips shared by activist Boniface Mwangi on Friday evening.
Police uniform, weapon are ID - Mutyambai addresses Boniface Mwangi's trending clips
Police issue 2-page statement on videos posted by Boniface Mwangi
Mwangi took to Twitter on Friday to share video clips of a volatile situation he experienced with the police at Pension House, Nairobi county.
In the clips, the activist was seen confronting police officers and un-uniformed individuals who identified themselves as Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) officials.
The officials, who IG Mutyambai confirmed were indeed from KRA, were at the building to apprehend alleged tax defaulters.
According to Mwangi's clips, his barber who has a shop at the building on Harambee Avenue was one of those the officials sought to arrest.
Mwangi was seen demanding official identification documents from the plain-clothed individuals, who hesitated to indulge him, claiming that they had no business with the activist.
Through Police Spokesperson Bruno Shioso, the IG addressed Mwangi's confrontation with the police stating that their uniforms and the weapons they were brandishing were enough confirmation that they were law enforcement officers on assignment.
"Attention of the Inspector General of Police and National Police Service command is drawn to some online video clips circulating on the internet and social media... From the two clips, the activist [Boniface Mwangi] is apparently arguing with armed uniformed law enforcement officers in company of KRA officers demanding for their identification.
"The subject activist persisted in his 'identification' argument despite the police officers being fully dressed in their official uniforms; also, being armed with official weapons. And not withstanding that the exercise was conducted in broad daylight and in the open and with some defaulters already having been arrested by the enforcement team," the statement read in part.
The statement went on to term the activist's actions as "unnecessary" while dismissing claims that police officers had injured Mwangi.
"The subject activist was not assaulted but instead caused unnecessary drama by running away and felling himself on the floor only to cause a commotion that was meant to aid the escape of the arrested defaulters. The subject activist [Boniface Mwangi] managed to escape from the scene during the commotion caused.
"NPS regrets unnecessary situations staged for the cameras and aimed at escalating unnecessary tensions between police and the public. NPS is committed to improving relations between the police and citizens and therefore calls upon the public to reciprocate this effort by taking police officers as true partners in their enforcement mandate and not otherwise," the police spokesperson outlined.
Following the ordeal, Boniface Mwangi posted a photo of a scratch he sustained during the drama with the caption: "Because we raised our voices, not single person was arrested in the entire Pension Towers building. l was slightly injured. The harassment and the brutalization of innocent citizens going about their business was captured on the building’s CCTV. Over to you @IG_NPS @FredMatiangi."
After the IG and his team released their statement, Mwangi also commented saying: "The target of their statement isn’t me, since they can’t even arrest me on fabricated charges, they want to scare all us from speaking up and recording impunity."
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