The Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA) has concluded investigations into three high-profile cases that will test the extent of the police reforms initiated after the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution.
One of them involves a case where police are accused of clobbering to death six-month-old Samantha Pendo after breaking into her parents’ house while pursuing protesters in Nyalenda, Kisumu, in the aftermath of the August 8 elections.
Another one is the shooting to death of nine-year-old Stephanie Moraa at the balcony of her parent's house in Mathare North, Nairobi, during post-election protests.
IPOA has also concluded investigation into claims of brutality meted out on students at the University of Nairobi who were protesting the arrest of former Sonu chairman and Embakasi East MP Babu Owino in September. IPOA believes it has grounds for the prosecution of those officers found culpable.
This newspaper maintains that the depravity and mindless brutality displayed by the police in many other incidents deter, rather than promote, community policing, a key ingredient in securing our neighbourhoods.
Indeed, the acts of a few policemen undermine years’ worth of efforts to transform the police from a violence-prone, brutal and unresponsive outfit to one acquainted with the needs of a 21st century community.
It should be hoped these cases mark the turning point for the police service.