The death of two teenagers in Nairobi’s Eastleigh business district has been the cause of several arguments in Kenya. The Eastleigh shooting as it is being referred to is a classic example of extrajudicial killings.
The Eastleigh shooting saw Kenyan police reportedly kill two unarmed teenagers on Friday afternoon (March 31). The video footage which has now been yanked off YouTube shows an officer arguing with a young man in front of a crowd. The officer then pulls the man in front of him and shots are fired with the man next seen lying on the ground.
Another policeman hands him another gun as he stands over the suspect, with one foot on his back and shoots him again. He goes on to reload the gun, walks over to the suspect, and finishes him with a bullet to the head. The video shows the bloodied body of another man lying nearby.
Kenya’s police force and an oversight agency have both called for an investigation but meanwhile, a fierce debate rages on in the public space.
According to Nairobi police commander Japheth Koome, the men who were killed were part of a local gang called Super Power that had targeted police. A lot of Kenyans who had been victims of the robbery gang’s activities hailed the actions of the officers, justifying the Eastleigh shooting as an act that would keep others safe.
Kenya’s capital is famously nicknamed “Nairobbery” for its high crime rates. The government had in fact published a list last year of 90 gangs, which have been splintering and specializing in their operations. The operations range from drug peddling to kidnapping, robbery, beatings, and killings.
The father of one of the two men who was killed by police in Eastleigh admitted to Standard Digital that his son was a petty thief. Mr. Dahir Robe said his 16-year-old son, Mohamed Khadir, was engaged in petty criminal activities and that his days had been numbered. Robe also pleaded with the authorities to release his son’s body for burial.