Nairobi based activist and blogger Mildred Atty Owiso was on Saturday morning arrested by almost a dozen police officers who raided her house.
Police lobbed teargas in the dawn raid as they forced their way into her premises in Buruburu estate. The activist streamed the altercation live on Facebook page, Buyer Beware.
Some officers could be seen jumping over her locked gate while others were seen on top of her house.
#AmKenyan #KOT! HELP! HELP! HELP! MILDRED ATTY OWISO who is in the viral video refusing to bribe a cop is currently being attacked in her home! They have killed her dog and taken her partner! @DefendersKE @IMLU_org@thekhrc HELP PLEASE!! @DCI_Kenya @PoliceKE @NPSOfficial_KE— #STOPTheseTHIEVES (@WanjeriNderu) January 25, 2020
This happened in Donholm at 9am.— Ichangai (@MichaelMburu_) January 25, 2020
Sources claim the owner of the white car with red tail lights facing the Silver Prado had committed a traffic violation against them.
When he refused to open his car, they followed him home and this is what happened. pic.twitter.com/lA5bUY0Aia
@DCI_Kenya @NPSC_KE @NPSOfficial_KE are these police officers or thugs? How do over ten police officers wake up very early to go arrest a woman who hasn't resisted arrest in such a manner. You are creating enmity between us and the police. Free atty#freeatty pic.twitter.com/QLlAGtN97Y— K.O.T G.O.A.T™🗯🇰🇪 (@ItsJohnMwendaH) January 25, 2020
Her arrest is believed to be connected to a video clip which she shared on social media on Thursday of a traffic police officer who entered her car along Jogoo Road over a traffic offence.
In the clip, Mildred adamantly refused to drive to a police station with the male officer in her car.
She argued that the officer had no right to enter her car.
According to Traffic Act Section 105, any police officer in uniform is allowed to stop any vehicle on the road and enter it during the routine inspection.
“It shall be lawful for any police officer in uniform to stop any vehicle, and for any police officer, licensing officer or inspector, (a) to enter any vehicle; (b) to drive any vehicle or cause any vehicle to be driven; (c) upon reasonable suspicion of any offense under this Act, to order and require the owner of any vehicle to bring the vehicle to him,” the traffic Act reads in part.
It further states that any person who fails to comply with any instructions given under this section shall be guilty of an offence and liable on a first conviction, to a fine not exceeding Ksh. 30,000 and for a second or subsequent conviction, to a fine not exceeding Ksh. 50,000 or to imprisonment for a term of one year.
Instead, she demanded to be booked and notified about the station she should meet the policeman, if at all she had a traffic offence.
Other motorists and road users quickly milled around the car which had been parked at a Shell petrol station upon hearing the loud altercation between her and the police officer.
The reluctant police officer stayed unshaken at the back seat of the vehicle, which forced the angry mob to eject him out of the car and stopped at beating him up following appeals by some of them.
The office, who at the time did not have his identification number pinned on his uniform, was seen frantically making calls to unknown persons as the enraged mob grew even bigger.
The National Police Service ACT of 2011 in section 61(2) states that a Police officer in uniform shall at all times affix a name tag or identifiable Service number in a clearly visible part of the uniform.
As expected, Kenyans netizens were quick to react, with the Kenyan police receiving heavy condemnation over their brutality against Mildred.
Joining in, local activist and former Starehe parliamentary hopeful Boniface Mwangi said that police tend to use their brutal force on people who challenge their criminality.
Adding that the level of violence meted to Atty is aimed at stopping other citizens from exposing rogue officers.
The police are doing this to intimidate Atty and everyone else fighting for a better Kenya.Police never use that kind of force when arresting rich crooks.That kind of violence is only used on everyday citizens who who are fighting corruption and the culture of impunity. #FreeAtty pic.twitter.com/RlDidQR2VZ— Boniface Mwangi (@bonifacemwangi) January 25, 2020
This is what other Kenyans had to say…
From comments, the police officer that Atty blocked from driving in her car is notorious for bribes & harassing citizens way back from Kilimani police station. Just because they are law enforcers doesn't mean they should not be law abiding. Nobody is above the law. #freeatty— MirandaⓂ️ (@m3_shawty) January 25, 2020
Mildred Atty Owiso famously known for her page Buyer Beware and her social activism, refused a traffic police entry into her car without a warrant,it went viral. She recorded the incidence and it caused and uproar. Yesterday her clip was featured at Ntv the Trend. #FreeAtty— Char-lee Oddie (@CharleeOddie1) January 25, 2020
Why teargas a woman and kill her dog in the morning was it a must to bribe and carry the numberless cop?? #freeatty— Milkah (@milkahnyams) January 25, 2020
GoK keeps provoking it's people everyday. Citizens will reach a boiling point and the revolution they think is impossible is soon coming. They way they're now starting to interfere with the middle class, they'll start feeling the heat. #freeatty— Apache Helicopter (@AttackMissile) January 25, 2020
Watched how police applied violence on Mildred & this is wrong. They are acting like gangsters and it is hard to differentiate between them and gangsters. The police reforms they sing about is just propaganda and PR @DCI_Kenya— Cyprian, Is Nyakundi (@CisNyakundi) January 25, 2020
Fuck the police.#FreeAtty— mwanaume.com (@MarigaThoithi) January 25, 2020
A woman decides to stand for what is right and then she goes through this while being arrested, the white colour should not be in our flag fr.#freeatty— M'moraa (@its_moraa) January 25, 2020
A whole lorry of policemen going to arrest one woman, what kind of stupidity is this, climbing over the fence like thugs. Free Atty you morons! #freeatty— K.O.T G.O.A.T™🗯🇰🇪 (@ItsJohnMwendaH) January 25, 2020
It really hurts to see a fellow Kenyan getting harassed like this. Today may be her and tomorrow you. I stand with #freeatty— ShadyⓂ️ (@Coder_Hub) January 25, 2020
I am terrified of living in my own country.! All that effort directed to one woman all because she knows her rights on the road and is against giving bribes? Tear gassing an estate just to get her? How idle are these police men? 2 would have been enough#freeAtty— Carolina Njeri Carlz (@CarolinaCarlz) January 25, 2020
babe was begging the cops so she can put on clothes and also change into a new pad because she is on her period, alafu the cop says he doesnt care! Aende vile ako kwani hio masaa yote alikua anafanya nini.— Baby Wĩtũ (@karigoh) January 25, 2020
Enda Fb and watch that video on buyer beware.
Protect and serve#FreeAtty
Rogue Police officers have killed a dog, teargassed a residential area & destroyed property just but to arrest Mildred Owiso for refusing to bribe a cop. What country do we live in? I thought police officers should be the 1st to set an example.— LEGIT DAILY (@iamlegitdaily) January 25, 2020