Police - Your Friend and Helper


Police brutality is evident across the globe. The extent differs from country to country but there is no place where the police are not used to oppress the people. Countries like the USA have been at the forefront of police violence, especially against people of colour and other minorities. The killing of George Floyd is just the latest in a long list of police killing Afro-American citizens in the USA. In remembrance of George Floyd and all the other Afro-American Citizens that have been murdered by the police, we will donate part of the money made with selling this shirt to the Black Lives Matter Movement in support of the current protests and riots surrounding the death of George Floyd. We urge you to check out their website and read more about the daily struggles of the members of the black community in the USA and how you can help them.

The picture we used for the current design however was not taken in the USA but in Kenya. It shows a Kenyan police officer stomping the head of the Kenyan Citizen Boniface Manono on a street curb and was taken by Ben Curtis (May 16, 2016). Several pictures of the event exist and show that the police officer first brutally hit Manono with a stick (until it broke) and then continued to kick Manono several times after he tripped and fell over (1,2). Shortly after, two other police officers joined in.

Courtesy to Ben Curtis (May 16, 2020)


What happened?

In 2016, protests against the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission office (IEBC) in Kenya erupted. In the run-up to the elections of 2017, the opposition had called for the protests as they accused the IEBC of bias and falsified elections in the past (1). In the capital Nairobi, the protests were largely peaceful, nevertheless, riot police were dispatched to dissolve them. On the same day the protests happened, Manono, who according to himself did not take part in them, went to the town to activate his account as an Uber driver (2). When he left, he was caught and chased by the riot police until he stumbled and fell on the curb. Somehow (and luckily), he survived the brutal beating and was later taken to the hospital. As far as we could find, he did not receive any form of compensation for the beating nor did the police officer(s) got charged.

This is just another sad example of how a state uses its police to oppress its people and how the police inflict unnecessary and immense brutality in doing so.

Contradictory, the police is often portrayed as “friend and helper” who people in need of help can turn to. It seems nothing but bitter irony, disrespecting all those that have suffered and died under the violence of the police. Therefore, we decided to create this shirt in honour of all those who have suffered under police brutality and especially those where it happened with racist motives.

 Solidarity for ever!

 

Sources:

  1. Bertrand, N. & Reuters (2016, May 17). Shocking photos show Kenyan police brutally beating protesters in central Nairobi. Business Insider. Retrieved on June 4, 2020 from: https://www.businessinsider.com/kenya-protesters-police-brutality-2016-5?r=DE&IR=T
  2. Mwangi, W. (2016, May 19). The rise of Boniface Manono to ‘celebrity’ status. The Star. Retrieved on June 4, 2020 from: https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2016-05-19-the-rise-of-boniface-manono-to-celebrity-status/

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