Residents say they fear police SOME residents of Katutura’s Gemeengte location…

Residents say they fear police

SOME residents of Katutura’s Gemeengte location say they are living in fear after police allegedly beat them up and fired shots indiscriminately last week.

The alleged shooting happened in Dominicus Boitile Street on Monday after a suspected drug dealer took shelter in Sylivia Neuaka’s house and the police raided the residence.

Neuaka told The Namibian how the police burst into her house scaring the children and demanding to know where drugs were hidden.

“I saw a guy running into the house and a few seconds later, the police followed him. The guy they were chasing jumped over the fence and disappeared into the other yard where the police found drugs (dagga) later,” Neuaka said.

She said the way police handle situations is worrisome citing how they had burst into her house demanding to know where the drugs were kept.

“When we said there were no drugs, they became angry and searched the house but they did not find anything. They were too angry and became brutal for no reason. There was not even time for us to explain. If you open your mouth, you get a slap,” she said adding that the police started shooting and beating up people the moment they left her house.

Jerome Kanana (17) said he was at home when he heard police sirens outside and he came out to see what the commotion was all about.

“When I got out, I saw more than 10 police officers in the street. Some were at the house in my street. I went closer to see what was going on. The police were searching the house. Later, they started pulling a guy I had not seen around before. They later told us to go back into our houses but some refused. Three police officers came to me and started slapping and kicking me. I ran away but they chased me into our yard where they continued beating me,” Kanana said.

Toini Jonas (62) said she was in her house when she heard the gun-shots outside. When she went outside, Jonas said she got the scare of her life.

“It was really scary. I just saw the people running up and down with police officers beating and firing shots. I went back into my house because it looked very dangerous. But when I heard what had happened the next morning, I was surprised that all that violence was just over a small thing,” Jonas said.

Chief Inspector Kauna Shikwambi blamed the community saying the police officers felt threatened.

“The police officers felt intimidated and threatened by the community members. That is why they opened fire. The police were at a suspected drug dealer’s house. Although they didn’t find anything at his house, they found 110 grammes of dagga in the neighbour’s yard. Some community members started throwing stones at the police when they were trying to interrogate the suspect. The officers felt that their lives were in danger. A police car was damaged in the process,” Shikwambi said.

But Joao Baptista, who claimed to have witnessed the whole scene, said the police became aggressive after they had found no drugs in the said house.

He said the officers dragged Henry Olifant, who was recording the incident on camera, and beat him while telling him that it is illegal to film the police without permission.

Olifant is out on bail of N$600 and is charged with malicious damage to property although he was initially arrested for recording the police action without permission. – See more at:
The Namibian – Residents say they fear police (News | ) …read more    

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