20 February 2018

Namibia: Cops Probe Their Own for Brutality

Windhoek — The Namibian Police Force (Nampol) internal investigation directorate last week ordered an investigation into allegations of police brutality after an officer reportedly broke the arm of a nurse after she asked why the police had wrestled and handcuffed her brother for no good reason.

This nurse's arm was fractured over a week ago by a certain sergeant 'Sakeus' stationed at Windhoek Police Station, who twisted the woman's arm following her remarks.

The nurse has subsequently opened a case of assault against the concerned police sergeant.

Nampol spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Edwin Kanguatjivi said the investigation started last week on Tuesday and it will include hearing both (the officer and the nurse's) side of the story.

Kanguatjivi said once the investigation is complete the docket will be forwarded to the prosecutor general for a decision on whether to prosecute the accused police officer or not.

But Kanguatjivi stressed that the decision whether to suspend the police officer or not will solely depend on the Police Inspector-General.

According to a New Era report last week, the police officer slapped the nurse twice and twisted her left arm. The incident happened the past weekend when some police officers in a police Quantum minibus ordered a taxi to stop on Frans Indongo Street. The nurse and her two brothers were passengers in the taxi, going home after a night out on the town. The nurse told New Era earlier after the taxi driver had stopped, he got out of the vehicle and the police immediately handcuffed and started beating him.

"My brother asked the police officers why they were beating a defenceless man (taxi driver)," said the nurse, adding that the officer then turned on her brother who had introduced himself as an officer from the Very Important Persons Protection (VIPP) division.

The police then wrestled him and handcuffed him.

He did not resist.

"I asked the officer if it was wrong of my brother to question them," said the nurse. The nurse said that a sergeant identified as 'Sakeus' then approached and slapped her and twisted her arm.

She added that 'Sakeus' also assaulted her younger brother, who recorded the incident on his cellphone.

Commenting on the police officer's behaviour, Kanguatjivi said being a police officer is one profession where one has to exercise some restraint, patience and good judgment.

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