WEATHER AUTHORITY : Severe Thunderstorm Warning View Alerts

A young boy was killed by a police stray bullet during a coronavirus curfew. Now his parents want answers

Nairobi's slums are home to the poorest of Kenyan society. Poor sanitation and overcrowding make social distancing an impossible task, raising fears about the potential spread of the novel coronavirus. CNN's Farai Sevenzo reports.

Posted: Apr 29, 2020 9:05 AM


Perched on his apartment balcony in Nairobi, 13-year-old Yassin Hussein Moyo curiously watched police patrol the streets with his mother and siblings. A coronavirus-related curfew had just started when a stray bullet struck him in the stomach.

His father, Hussein Moyo Molte, was at a nearby friend's place watching the news and recounts hearing gunshots moments before his daughter called to tell him, "Yassin's been shot, we were on the balcony, the police had a torch on us and then they fired shots."

Moyo rushed home to find the neighborhood engulfed in tear gas.

Neighbors drove Yassin to a Nairobi hospital where he later died from his injuries, according to his father, who believes his neighborhood police officers are to blame for the incident, which happened on March 30.

"My child was shot on the balcony at home, he wasn't even on the street," said Moyo. "I support the curfew but how the policeman handled it was very wrong."

'Excessive use of force'

Kenya's dusk-to-dawn curfew went into effect nationwide on March 27 in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus, which has so far killed 14 people in the country.

However, human rights group Amnesty International told CNN it has documented 16 people killed by police officers since the curfew started.

"Excessive use of force further terrorizes a public that is already anxious and fearful," said Amnesty International's Kenya director, Irungu Houghton.

Disturbing videos on local media showed police violently tear gassing, beating and forcing people to lie in tight groups on the ground in the coastal city of Mombasa on the first day of curfew.

Houghton believes violent enforcement of the curfew damages public trust in the police and could hurt efforts to curb the spread of Covid-19.

"People will not voluntarily submit themselves to be tested if they feel their dignity and safety cannot be guaranteed."

Kenya's inspector general of police vowed to investigate Yassin's death and in a televised address, President Uhuru Kenyatta issued a public apology for the excessive use of force by police.

Charles Owino, the spokesman for the national police, told CNN that Yassin was hit by a stray bullet, but the investigation and ballistic report are ongoing.

He declined to respond to questions about allegations of excessive use of force by police.

'Apology not enough'

One month on, Yassin's traumatized family say an apology will not bring their son back.

His mother Hadija Abdullahi Hussein told CNN. "Everyone is home but no one is talking. He used to be the one who brought all the life into the house," Hussein says.

The sight of police patrolling the streets has left her other son, who is 3 years old, terrified and asking whether the police will shoot him too, she says.

Hussein told CNN that moments before the tragic incident, she had told her children, who were on the balcony watching the scenes on the street unfold, not to fear the policemen below.

But after Yassin's death, she says she's lost all confidence in the police.

"Can I honestly tell them, policeman are good after policeman killed his brother? I cannot go back and tell them to trust the police."

Human rights violations

Despite a public apology for violent policing by the President, "nothing has changed, people are still being beaten," said Olal Happy, a convener at the Social Justice Working Group, which coordinates social justice centers in informal settlements like the one Yassin lived in.

He classifies what Kenya has seen during curfew as human rights violations. "More people have been killed by the police than Covid-19," Happy said. "Most people don't fear the virus like they fear the police."

As Kenyans settle into the reality of curfew for the foreseeable future, Happy says life is about to get even tougher for poorer Kenyans.

"People living in slums are fighting to survive on many fronts, said Happy. "They're fighting coronavirus, they're fighting hunger, and they're fighting police."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 35419

Reported Deaths: 1230
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds290851
DeSoto190019
Madison144638
Jones120349
Harrison113616
Rankin108715
Neshoba104577
Forrest99343
Lauderdale96381
Scott81915
Jackson77519
Washington72213
Copiah65315
Leake63520
Lee61222
Oktibbeha61128
Grenada5949
Warren59421
Holmes58641
Wayne56218
Yazoo5536
Lowndes54813
Lamar5347
Leflore53156
Lincoln52935
Pike49920
Lafayette4974
Sunflower4778
Monroe45635
Panola4486
Covington4355
Bolivar40518
Simpson3933
Attala38424
Newton37510
Tate35213
Adams35120
Pontotoc3466
Marion32712
Claiborne30111
Chickasaw29719
Winston29511
Pearl River28832
Noxubee2788
Jasper2776
Marshall2773
Walthall2627
Clay25811
Union25211
Smith24612
Clarke22325
Coahoma2226
Lawrence2092
Yalobusha2079
Tallahatchie1954
Kemper18414
Carroll18111
Montgomery1713
Calhoun1645
Humphreys16310
Itawamba1468
Tippah14511
Hancock14413
Webster13411
Jefferson1263
Tunica1233
Jefferson Davis1204
Prentiss1204
George1163
Greene11310
Amite1103
Alcorn1002
Quitman991
Wilkinson989
Tishomingo971
Perry874
Choctaw754
Stone742
Franklin542
Sharkey480
Benton460
Issaquena101
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 49892

Reported Deaths: 1077
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson6433170
Mobile4753139
Montgomery4430112
Tuscaloosa263253
Madison21199
Marshall192611
Shelby164225
Lee157237
Morgan12695
Baldwin120711
Walker106131
Elmore102920
Dallas9969
Etowah95114
DeKalb9417
Franklin93216
Autauga67614
Russell6750
Chambers67427
Unassigned65328
Butler65129
Tallapoosa62869
Limestone6223
Houston5857
Cullman5716
Lauderdale5686
St. Clair5133
Colbert4956
Calhoun4905
Lowndes48122
Escambia4808
Pike4725
Coffee4244
Jackson4182
Covington41412
Barbour3942
Dale3911
Talladega3897
Bullock37710
Marengo35211
Hale34823
Chilton3232
Clarke3126
Wilcox3038
Blount2961
Winston2965
Sumter29113
Marion27514
Pickens2696
Randolph2589
Monroe2553
Perry2362
Conecuh2308
Bibb2211
Macon2159
Choctaw21212
Greene1959
Henry1533
Washington1418
Crenshaw1273
Lawrence1250
Cherokee1237
Geneva960
Lamar871
Clay852
Fayette821
Coosa651
Cleburne421
Out of AL00
Tupelo
Overcast
88° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 72°
Feels Like: 100°
Columbus
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 92° Lo: 71°
Feels Like: 89°
Oxford
Overcast
86° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 93°
Starkville
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 91° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 91°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather