A man dragged by police and later dies in his cell in South Africa.
Taxi driver, Mido Macia, was found dead in a jail cell two hours after police arrested him in Daveyton, South Africa. Eight police officers are now accused of Mido’s murder.
South Africa’s police chief said that she also feels the same “extreme shock and outrage” over the video footage as anyone who has seen it. She also announced that the officers involved had already been suspended and that the police commander in Daveyton has been relieved of his post.
General Riah Phiyega said she supports the investigation by the police watchdog agency and agreed that the right of Mr. Macia were “violated in the most extreme form.”
According to investigators, police told them that Mr. Macia assaulted one of the police officers and took his gun.
But the video footage shows a contradiction to the officers’ version of the events.
The video shows Macia arguing with a police officer with his hands by his side. Then he was roughed up by five police officers and he ended up on the ground.
One witness told a local newspaper: “[Police] argued with Macia and then they beat him up.
They handcuffed him to the back of the van and slammed the door in his face. With blood running down his face they drove off. He was in pain. He cried and asked the cops to stop but they continued anyway.”
This comes at the time when the country’s faith in the criminal justice system has waned due to increasing violence and corruption within.
Last August, South Africa’s police opened fired on striking workers at the Marikana platinum mine and killed 34 people. The high-profile murder case against Oscar Pistorius has also questioned the justice system.
Mr. Macia’s probable cause of death was head injuries with internal bleeding, according to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.
The incident has quickly sparked backlash in South Africa with many protesting in the streets. Frans Cronje from the South African Institute of Race Relations said:
“It is a level of barbarity on a par with police behaviour at Marikana. We strongly support the police use of force to meet the criminal onslaught. But this is an ill-disciplined and brutal rabble that have lost all respect for themselves, their jobs, the societies they work in.”