A UK-based Kenyan woman whose 24-year-old son was brutalized by police in Colchester, Essex in an incident captured on camera has spoken out.
In an interview with Daily Nation on Tuesday, the mother identified as Japhet confirmed her son, Wycliff Cox is suffering from a mental illness and was trying to get him to the hospital when the incident happened on September 21st.
Japhet indicated that on that day, she called for an ambulance to shuttle his son to the hospital for treatment but officers from the Essex police department came instead.
“He has suffered from mental illness for a long time. On that day, he went into a mental crisis so I called an ambulance for him to be taken to the hospital, but turned up instead. No ambulance came,” she noted.
“When I asked the police why they were arresting my son, they said he had skipped bail. That was when they started kicking and punching him in the head and ribs. They also broke his nose. There were seven police officers.”
Cox is said to have committed a criminal offense and was arraigned and released on bail with certain conditions that were not publicized but his mother insists he was arrested for a crime he committed while mentally indisposed, adding that her son could not understand the bail terms.
“The police do not care about his health condition as they say they are not medics,” she said.
The family has lodged a complaint with the Essex Police as well as an independent complaints commission.
The incident only came to light last week when a video was uploaded on YouTube, sparking outrage among Kenyans both at home and abroad, as well as some UK nationals.
On Monday, the Kenya High Commission in London said it had written to the UK government demanding a thorough probe into the matter.
“The High Commission has already communicated with the UK government, raising the Government of Kenya's concerns on the unnecessary force on an unarmed man," the Mission said in a statement.
“The Government of Kenya is keen that the case that was reported to the UK authorities in late September 2020 be thoroughly investigated so that justice is seen to be done, and also that all involved be held to account for their actions according to UK police conduct and regulations. The health, welfare, and safety of Kenyans living in the United Kingdom remain a priority for the Mission and the Government of the Republic of Kenya,” the mission added.