Two cops indicted for City Park manslaughter to be sentenced on May 27

Two cops indicted for City Park manslaughter to be sentenced on May 27
The car in which police allegedly shot Janet Wangui Waiyaki in Nairobi's city park.

A Nairobi court will sentence two police constables William Chirchir and Godfrey Kirui on May 27 after they were found guilty of manslaughter.

The two, according to the court, fatally shot a city businesswoman- Janet Waiyaki- on the morning of May 20, 2018.

The two appealed for non-custodial sentences when they appeared before the court on Thursday.

However, Ms Waiyaki’s husband asked the court to consider that it was a premature death, arguing that life can not be brought back.

“Consider she was 41 years, she left very young children 2 and 4 years, the eldest is 12 years,” he said “The children will live the rest of their lives without the care of a mother, the young one has been waiting for her mother to come back,”

He told the court that since his wife was killed, he has been without a life partner and takes care of his kids and businesses single-handedly.

On Tuesday, High Court Judge Stella Mutuku ruled that the officers’ use of force was not proportional to the threat.

She claimed that no crime had been committed and that the deceased and the other occupants of the vehicle posed no danger to the officers.

The officers had not recognized the occupants at the time the car pulled away, Justice Mutuku said, and they did not fire in the air or deflate the tires because the deceased was shot in the passenger seat.

“They behaved rashly and opened fire with the intent to kill,” she said.

According to the judge, they used intimidation and broke the rule when they used weapons to stop the vehicle.

“All of the officers were armed, and they should have behaved cautiously. I believe there were other ways to intercept the car, and they also broke the law requiring them to protect life, “she continued

The 41-year-old woman died as her 26-year-old counterpart was left in critical condition after police officers sprayed their car with bullets at City Park, Nairobi, on the fateful day.

According to a police statement, a county security officer reported the suspicious vehicle parked within the park.

Police officers from Makadara who were on patrol in the area responded and found the car, a Toyota Fielder KBX 515 H, parked within the park in a forested area with all windows tinted and closed.

The officers reportedly knocked on the windows to no response before the car suddenly sped off towards the road, prompting two out of the over five police officers present to fire a combined 11 rounds of ammunition at the car.

The vehicle then stopped and inside were a male and a female namely Benard Chege, a Kikuyu male adult aged 26-years-old, and Janet Wangui Waiyaki, a Kikuyu female adult aged 41 years,” read the police statement.

The two, who were both found half naked and with gunshot wounds, were then rushed to Avenue hospital where Chege was admitted and Janet was pronounced dead.

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