As prosecution of errant officers who allegedly beat up former Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate continues in police’s disciplinary court, the force has yet again been put under spotlight after the driver of one of their pick-up knocked down a man.
Accordingly, the police has instituted inquiries in response to a video footage that emerged of a police pick-up, appearing to have knocked and brushed Dr Besigye’s supporter to the roadside.
“The alleged victim, who is still unidentified, was maliciously charged and kicked at by another unidentified man with a helmet and in civilian attire, whom many claim to be part of security. The video by a civilian journalist was kept quiet until when it was released yesterday by the media, from a previous public order incident, with traces of alleged police brutality, for which disciplinary court hearings were taking place,” said Police spokesperson Mr Fred Enanga.
According to Mr Enanga, the Professional Standards Unit (PSU) has reviewed the video and “is trying to identify the victim, the police pick-up, its driver and car commander, which officers will have to be suspended from operational duties, pending outcome of the investigations. It will in addition, use the video to justify evidence of professional misconduct by selected officers undergoing disciplinary court processes.”
“Although, many questions about our policing and accountability have been asked in the last one month, we highly encourage the filming and release of videos on sensitive police related incidents, as a very important step in promoting transparency in the course of our duties; provided it does not interfere with a police officer on duty, and or refusal to obey a lawful order, obstruct an arrest or police action among others. This is consistent with our commitment to increased transparency through various rectification campaigns, which is essential in rebuilding and strengthening our trust with the public’s we police,” Mr Enanga added in a statement issued on Saturday.
He further noted that police officers are being advised on the minimum use of force, through better communication especially intense and fast moving public order policing situations.
“For this we are confident of our ability to continue protecting the safety and security of all Ugandans and visitors, whom we request not to judge the entire police force by the actions of a few bad officers,” he added.