What you need to know:
- The man was arrested at 6pm on April 11 for allegedly verbally abusing his friend, who owed him Sh100.
- He is said to have been roughed up by officers at Kaibos police post and his left testis was crushed while he was in handcuffs.
A family in West Pokot County is demanding justice for a 21-year-old man who was allegedly assaulted and his left testis crushed by police officers from the Kaibos police post in Siyoi ward.
The family is now worried that their relative will not be able to sire children.
The man was arrested at 6pm on April 11 for allegedly verbally abusing his friend, who owed him Sh100.
He sat his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in 2021 and scored a C. He is from a single-parent family.
He is said to have been roughed up by officers at the station and his left testis was crushed while he was in handcuffs.
Crushed with handcuffs
Six police officers are said to have been involved in assaulting the victim, with one pressing the private parts with handcuffs.
A report from a doctor at Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) in Eldoret signed by Dr Kittony Too, a consultant radiologist/registrar, says the victim’s “left testis is retracted to the inguinal region, shrunken and edemato. It measures 1.43 mls in volume. It does not pick flow on Doppler studies. There is no hydrocele noted”.
“The right testis is visualized at the scrotum, of a normal size and echogenic. It measures 6.29 mls in volume. It shows normal flow on colour and spectral Doppler. Both epididymi are normal. Features suggestive of left testicular torsion.”
Narrating his ordeal to the Nation at his uncle’s home in Kaibos village, the man recalled the events of the fateful day when he said he met his longtime friend, who was in the company of his wife. He had lent his friend money at the Kaibos market a few months ago.
“I asked him about my dues and he said he didn’t have money. I told him to be mature like a circumcised man. The man fumed and reported me to the Kaibos police station, accusing me of abusing him,” he said.
He claimed the police then arrested him.
“A police officer agreed with my family for me to pay Sh1,200 but later the officer changed and demanded Shs10,000,” he claimed.
He claimed he was forced to go with a Sergeant Godfrey Barasa on a motorbike to the Kapenguria police station but he fell from the motorcycle on the way there.
“We were headed to the Kapenguria police post but unfortunately we fell down with a motorbike which the police officer was riding. He decided that we will go back to the Kaibos police station,” he said.
It was at the Kaibos police post where he was assaulted with handcuffs, he claimed.
“The officer kicked me from behind and I fell down. One stepped on me from behind and the third used handcuffs to assault me on my private parts,” he said.
“Another one held my long trousers and hit me on the wall then I fell down. I rose up and another officer pushed me back and threw me to the corner.
“Another officer held me with handcuffs from behind while another beat my chest using his leg then [officer] Mike held my private parts and pressed the scrotum with handcuffs ….
“I cried and a huge crowd came. Another policeman tied me with handcuffs.”
Mr Kiptoo claimed that the police officers wanted to kill him.
He claimed Sergeant Barasa had told the officers that he was the one who caused the motorbike to crash as they tried to get to Kapenguria and had to be punished.
The man was taken to the Kapenguria police station and later to Kapenguria hospital, but the hospital was unable to ascertain the extent of his injuries.
His condition worsened while at the Kapenguria police station, where he was given a police bond and taken to MTRH.
“I returned to the police station for six hours with handcuffs before my mother came and posted a bond,” he said.
He underwent an emergency operation at MTRH and returned home.
“In hospital, I was told that the part that had been crushed would not work again. I feel so much pain in my chest and leg. My left testicle was completely destroyed and I was told it was rotting,” he said.
The left testicle was removed in the four-hour operation.
Family's plea to IPOA
The family has urged the Independent Policing Oversight Authority (Ipoa) to investigate the attack.
Kaibos residents joined family members on Monday and staged a demonstration, marching in the village with placards and twigs and accusing the police of brutality.
The chanting protesters demanded the immediate transfer of the police officers who were involved in the attack.
"I am just pleading for justice. As a family, we are poor and I was raised by a single mother. My father died when I was young," the man said.
His mother is now calling for justice for her only son. The mother of three is a casual labourer in schools and must pay her son’s medical bills.
“I never imagined such a thing could happen to my son. We are completely done. We are completely exhausted. I can’t imagine that I will not see my son’s children,” she said, accusing the police officers of destroying the young man's life.
"I am only crying for justice to be served. I have exhausted all my money trying to secure the life of my son. I have spent more than Sh200,000 on his treatment," she said.
The man’s sister claimed the police officers wanted to shoot the family after they protested the incident.
“He is the only son in our family and now he won’t produce children. We heard about it and when we went to the police post, the police denied us access,” she said.
Mr Kirui Kimtai, a programme officer at the Centre Against Torture, condemned the act, calling for the arrest of the police officers involved.
“Shame to the police service, shame to the county police commander,” he said.
Mr Kimtai noted that police bosses don’t know about atrocities being committed in the region.
“Single mothers are being targeted by the police. I don't know which law they are using,” he said.
"It is a big shame for police officers to do these things in modern-day society. Some police officers have overstayed within the county just to continue doing evil. The Inspector-General of police should take charge and monitor the behaviour of some of the police officers."
Speaking to the Nation by phone, West Pokot County Police Commander Jackson Tumwet said the incident happened a week ago and the man was taken to court.
"The [man] was threatening to kill someone. He was brought to the police station and was taken to court,” he said.
“I can't talk about court cases that are still active even though Ipoa are doing their own investigation concerning the incident. They are the ones checking on police performance and if there was a complaint they will be able to establish," he said.
He added that they will also conduct their own investigation and officers have been assigned to establish what really happened.
The family of the man says the case was deferred by the court because of his condition.