#EndSARS: Nigerian Celebrities Join Campaign To End Police Brutality

As #EndSARS continue to dominate Twitter Trends, Nigerian celebrities and artistes have joined voices with Nigerian citizens voicing their opinion on social media.

The trend emerged on Saturday when various individuals took to the social media to condemn the operation of narrating their experience of police brutality. The victims claimed that SARS disregard for human lives has culminated in the lives of many innocent victims.

READ ALSO: Police Announces Complaint Lines As #EndSARS Causes Twitter Storm

While calling for an end and reformation to the operation of the squad, they accused SARS of maltreating and torturing innocent citizens at will.

Due to the increased outcry on social media, Nigerian artistes Simi, Adekunle Gold, DJ Spinal, Don Jazzy, Falz, and other celebrities including Ebuka Obi-Uchendu, Omojuwa and the former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili among others joined voices to call for the end of SARS.

See tweets below:

 

Families Condemn Police Brutality In California

FILE PHOTO: Mark RALSTON / AFP

James de la Rosa was unarmed when four police officers in the rural Californian town of Bakersfield ended his life in a hail of bullets by the roadside.

At the age of 22, he had never picked up a single conviction, but initial police reports justified the killing by saying he had reached into his waistband after being chased by police and crashing.

“I’m broken”, sobs his mother Leticia as she visits his grave in a local cemetery three years after the killing, cradling a picture of her beaming son in happier times.

“No money, nothing in this world, will bring me back my son. I think of James everyday. I live in the house he was living in. He was a good kid, he had a bright future.”

A family lawsuit alleged that De la Rosa had his hands in the air when an officer first tried to taser him and then other officers opened fire, shooting him five times in the head, groin and other areas.

The family settled on a $400,000 compensation deal after it emerged that an officer had “tickled” De la Rosa’s dead body — but many other victims’ families feel they have never seen justice.

Far from the media spotlight on flashpoints like Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore, at least 29 people have been shot by police in Kern County, where the oil production hub of Bakersfield is located, since 2013.

“In recent years, Kern County Sheriff’s deputies shot and killed considerably more people than law enforcement agencies in areas of equivalent population sizes,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said in a recent report.

“And the Bakersfield Police Department had the highest rate of police homicides per capita of the country’s 60 largest police departments.”

– Shootings, beatings, dog attacks –

The report described “a disturbing pattern of shootings, beatings and canine attacks” by police and sheriff’s deputies, especially targeting unarmed suspects.

Families of the dead say the real toll over the period covered by the report is 38 — and more than once a month in 2015 — although Mark Nations, a lawyer for the sheriff’s office, told AFP that year was an anomaly.

“We have not had an in-custody death since then. I can tell you there was a spike in incidents in the sense that there was not much going on before that and not much after that,” he told AFP.

The Bakersfield Police Department, involved in at least four deaths since 2016, refused to comment, citing an ongoing investigation by California’s public prosecutor.

The ACLU says the level of lethal violence directed at Hispanics and African Americans in Bakersfield by the predominantly white police force is out of proportion to the level of local crime.

Peter Bibring, the group’s director of police practices for California, has noted that a small number of officers in Bakersfield have been involved in two deaths or more.

One officer was present during the deaths of De La Rosa and two other victims — Jorge Ramirez and Jason Alderman.

Alderman, a 29-year-old father of two, met his end after being caught leaving a fast food joint he had just burglarized, in August 2015.

He was about to escape, having found nothing worth stealing, when he was gunned down by police who later said he had raised his car jack, which they thought was a rifle.

– ‘Wild West’ –

A surveillance video showed he had been crouching to get through a window when he was propelled back by the gunfire.

Ramirez, a 34-year-old father of five, was on probation when he agreed four years ago to lead officers to a suspect. But the operation ended in a bloodbath on a parking lot and he was riddled with police bullets.

“He was expecting the police to take care of him instead of killing him,” his father, Jorge Ramirez Sr, told AFP, adding that he was haunted by the image of his son’s death.

Academics and campaigners describe Kern County as poverty-stricken and blighted by drug abuse, more the cultural twin of rural Texas than liberal Hollywood or high-tech Silicon Valley.

Oil producers and farm owners say locals, have disproportionate influence with police, who have a historical culture of impunity.

“It’s very Old Wild West here,” said Josth Stenner, an activist with civil rights group “Faith in the Valley.”

Police in Kern County and Bakersfield have said they are prepared to implement any reforms suggested by the California prosecutor.

But De la Rosa’s brother Joe Arambulo says public trust will not be restored until police can prove they are equipped to avoid unnecessary bloodshed.

“They don’t give these guys the right training. It’s a lot of broken families, mothers’ lost sons, sons’ lost fathers,” he told AFP.

“When I see an officer, I worry about my kids.

AFP

IGP Warns Against Police Brutality

IGP Warns Against Police BrutalityThe Inspector General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, has warned men and officers of the Police against the use of fire arms and official powers to intimidate and violate the fundamental human rights of suspects and Nigerians, in the course of executing the mandate of the Police.

Mr Ibrahim issued the warning in Makurdi, at a three-day human rights sensitization workshop for Divisional Police Officers serving in Benue state.

The training was facilitated by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime UNODC and PRAWA.

The IGP advised participants to be civil in their official conduct and not portray the Police force and the Nigerian government as dictatorial.

He was represented at the three-day workshop by the Assistant Inspector General of Police Zone 4, Mr Oshodi Agboola.

Ondo Residents Protest Road Accident

OndoAngry residents of Ilaramokin, a town located along Akure- Ilesa highway near Akure, the Ondo state capital, have taken to the streets to protest the alleged shooting of a resident in the town.

Trouble started when a commuter bus hit a motorcyclist on the highway.

This led to the instant death of the passenger on the motorcycle while the rider sustained serious injuries.

The accident sparked off protest by the residents who are calling for speed breakers to be constructed on the highway to limit the rate of road accidents.

However, the protest turned awry when men of the Police arrived the scene as the protesters claimed that Policemen had shot five of the protesters in an attempt to disperse the crowd.

The Ondo State Police Command, however, gave a different account of the incident.

“Some irate youths went to the scene and descended heavily on the occupants of the vehicle as well as the driver, damaging the vehicle.

“So we needed to be there and we were right there, tried to prevail on them, asking them to be calm but unfortunately they went against us and descended heavily on our people.

“Our own brand new patrol vehicle was burned to ashes, our boys had to scamper for safety,” said the Ondo State Police PRO, Femi Joseph.

The Police said that peace efforts were on as they continue their investigation into the cause of the accident that triggered the burning of the bus, a barricaded highway and a traffic jam.

US ‘Black Lives Matter’ Protests Disrupt Airports And Shopping

US-protestThere has been a huge protest in the United States (US) over alleged Police brutality with the “Black Lives Matter” group holding rallies in Minnesota and California on one of the busiest retail days of the year.

The demonstrators in Minnesota temporarily closed the international airport and interrupted Christmas shopping at the Mall of America.

Police said that a total of 15 people were arrested at both places, mostly for trespassing or obstructing justice.

Protesters are angry over a Police shooting of a black man in Minneapolis.

Jamar Clark was shot dead in November by officers responding to an assault complaint, in one of a number of recent incidents around the US. Activists say he was shot in the head while handcuffed.

VIDEO: Nigerian Man Stripped, Beaten In South Africa

SA PoliceThe shocking video footage has emerged on YouTube, showing South African police officers apprehending, stripping and beating a man believed to be Nigerian on a street in Kensington, Cape Town.

The video said to have been uploaded by a YouTube user on March 7, shows four uniformed South African police officers arresting the man, and beating him taking off his clothes.

One of the officers kicked the man in the groin, forcing the man to double over in pain.

The violence has provoked anger on social media across the world and reports say two police officers have been arrested over the incident.

Subsidy Protest Murder Trial Resumes

The Lagos High Court Sitting in Igbosere, Lagos Island on Tuesday continued trial in the case against the former Divisional Police Officer of Pen Cinema, Agege, DSP Segun Fabunmi.

DSP Fabunmi is charged with the attempted murder of some fuel subsidy protesters, and the murder of one Adedamola Daramola, an incident which occurred during the fuel subsidy removal of January 2012.

A prosecuting witness, Mr Chizoba Udoh, who took the witness stand in court, told Presiding Justice, Olabisi Akinlade, that the defendant shot at the crowd while the people ran.

The witness also said that he was reading a newspaper at Maternity Junction, Yaya Abatan, in the Ogba area of Lagos on January 9, when the Police van arrived.

“Suddenly a policeman got down from the van and started shooting in the air and I immediately crossed the road.

“Another policeman who was not in uniform then collected the gun from him and shot at the crowd gathered at the junction while we ran”, he said.

He added that it was while they were running that one Adedamola Daramola was killed, while four others sustained bullet wounds.

Another witness, Mr Moses Daramola, who claimed that the deceased was like a brother to him, told the court that he was in his house at Ogba when he heard gunshots coming from the Yaya Abatan end.

“When I got to the scene, people started telling me that my brother had been shot and taken to the General Hospital, Ifako Ijaye. I got to the hospital and found out that my brother was dead, I cried and was taken back home while his corpse was taken to the mortuary.”

During cross-examination, the defence counsel contended that the hospital was not operating on the said day, owing to the strike.

The case has however been adjourned to March 19 for continuation of trial.

Police Killed My Aide – Oshiomhole

The Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole has accused the Nigerian Police of being responsible for the assassination of his Special Adviser and Personal Secretary, Olaitan Oyerinde.

The Late Olaitan Oyerinde, former Special Adviser and Private Secretary to Governor Adams Oshiomhole

Mr Oshiomhole, who was speaking on Thursday in Abuja during the launching of the new code of conduct for the Nigerian police, said both the assassin and the weapon used to murder the late Oyerinde were in police detention as at the time the assassination was carried out.

The governor said, “The man, who was involved in the murder according to the record of the police including the entry made by a DPO (Divisional Police Officer) in a police station, was already under police detention at the time my private secretary was murdered.

“The weapon that was used for the murder was used for armed robbery earlier, recovered by the police and under police custody at the time my secretary was murdered.

“So, the man who murdered my secretary was in police custody; the gun he used was in police custody and this is the findings of the police. The only conclusion that can be reached is that the police ordered the killing of my private secretary.

Mr Oshiomole, who was visibly moved to tears called for the investigation of the Deputy Inspector General of police in charge of criminal investigation and possible dismissal if he is found culpable in the death of late Oyerinde.

The former aide to Mr Oshiomhole was shot and killed in front of his wife and children at his residence in Benin City by suspected assassins.