The response of IPOA and other state institutions to deaths in custody and police misconduct in Kenya
Keywords:death in custody, police accountability, prosecution, right to life, police conduct, IPOA
This article looks into deaths in police custody and police oversight in Kenya. Death in police custody includes instances where an individual in the custody of police loses their life in one way or another, including through suicide. The article defines death in custody, discusses the right to life, and briefs on the reports made by institutions such as Independent Policing Oversight Authority (IPOA). It also analyses the Kenyan legal framework that governs police conduct and institutions responsible for reporting, investigating and prosecuting cases on death in police custody. It describes the process through which reports can be made to relevant authorities and establishes that IPOA plays a major role in holding police officers accountable. This article also posits that the State in general, IPOA, the Internal Affairs Unit, Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and police officers have failed in their mandate to report and investigate and satisfactorily prosecute complaints of deaths in custody. It highlights the success and challenges IPOA faces in effecting its mandate. It goes further to give recommendations towards improving the prosecution of death in custody cases.