The UK government has opened a probe into an incident in which a 24-year-old Kenyan man was assaulted by police in Colchester, Essex last month.
Officers from the Essex police department were captured on camera using excessive force while arresting Wycliff Cox on September 21st.
UK’s Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has appointed an independent investigator to look into the complaint filed by Cox’s family.
Ms. Anna Cruice was named the lead investigator and will investigate the matter and submit a report that will determine whether the police officers involved will be prosecuted.
In an interview with Daily Nation earlier this month, Cox’s mother, Japhet said her son suffers from a mental illness and was trying to get him to the hospital when the incident happened.
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 incident only came to light early this month when a video was uploaded on YouTube, sparking outrage among Kenyans both at home and abroad, as well as some UK nationals.
The Kenya High Commission in London wrote to the UK government demanding a thorough probe into the matter.