Kenyans protest cop who allegedly killed man over sanitizer

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NAIROBI – Residents of a small town in western Kenya set fire to a police station and damaged several vehicles after a police officer allegedly killed a man over a dispute about hand sanitizer, according to an official report.

It is the second time in two weeks that Kenyans have violently protested alleged police killings.

According to a police report seen by The Associated Press, residents of Rioma in Kisii County stormed the local police station Sunday evening after an officer reportedly shot and killed a trader he accused of selling fake hand sanitizers.

Enraged members of the public pelted the station with stones, injuring five officers, and lit fires that extensively damaged the offices and several police cars, the report says.

The officer who allegedly killed the trader has been arrested, said the report.

In late June, two people were killed and the house of the local police chief burned in a small town in Kenya’s Rift Valley. The confrontation between police and residents started after police reportedly shot and killed a motorcyle taxi rider for not wearing a face mask.

Human rights activists for weeks have protested alleged killings by Kenyan police officers while enforcing virus-related restrictions. They also accuse officers of using the measures to extort bribes.

Kenya’s police force for two decades has been ranked as the country’s most corrupt institution. It’s also Kenya’s most deadly, according to human rights groups.