Protesters marched to Nairobi’s Buruburu police station Wednesday to demand action following the fatal shooting of two men.
They were killed at around 7pm on Tuesday, at the city’s Dandora dumpsite, where they earned a living by dumpster diving.
Police said the two were together with armed men who were planning a robbery, while the demonstrators described them as “innocent colleagues”.
The dead were identified only as Macharia and Kanyingi, though the demonstrators claimed police had shot dead seven men, allegations that were not immediately authenticated.
Witnesses said police who stormed the dumpsite approached the group, then fired in the air before killing the two as their colleagues scampered for safety.
A third man who fled the scene with a bullet injury in the leg joined the protesters but was spotted by the police who sought to arrest him.
His colleagues managed to whisk him away before he was apprehended.
Buruburu police commander had ordered her officers to arrest him saying he was probably the one who escaped while firing at police officers.
Three team of police officers riding in Landcruisers escorted the demonstrators to and from the dumpsite.
Officials of the Youth Initiative Kenya, an NGO that provides support for youth groups based at the dumpsite, joined the protests.
Ms Jacinta Atieno, an official, said police had been arresting youths operating at the dumpsite and extorting money.
“We have given the youth groups about Sh500,000 since last August. But some of the money, which is meant to develop their initiatives, has been taken by police who demand it so as to release their victims,” she said.
The youth groups there collect plastic containers and cartons from the garbage and sell them to industries for recycling.
A man who identified himself as Karis said police arrested him on December 27, last year and was released the following day after his Youth group, the Brotherhood, paid up Sh28,000 demanded by the police.