Summary of the Report into the Arrest of Ms Ingrid Turinawe on 20Th April, 2012
1. On the 20th of April 2012, police officers arrested one Ingrid Turinawe at Nansana Township of Kampala City. Television news footage of the incident appeared to show that in the course of the arrest a police officer improperly touched Ms Turinawe’s breast.
2. The Inspector General of Police immediately ordered the Professional Standards Unit and the Special Investigations Unit to investigate the incident.
3. The objectives of the investigation were to determine the facts of the incident and to establish the offence or misconduct, if any, that was committed, the person or persons responsible, and recommend a course of action to deal with the complaint.
Sequence of Events
The investigation established the following:
4. On 19th of April, 2012, at 12.00 pm, the Commander of Kampala Metropolitan Police, Assistant Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Andrew Kaweesi, received a letter from the Mayor of Nansana, His Worship Waikama Musoke, under the letterhead of Nansana Human Rights Enlightenment, informing the Police of the intention to hold a political rally the following day, at Masitoowa area.
5. The Commander communicated with the Mayor, and expressed reservations over the timing, location and attendance of the planned rally.
6. Mr. Kaweesi, after considering the large number of persons likely to attend the meeting, and the unsuitability of the venue; and the fact that the Police had not been alerted in good time to arrange for security of the participants and the organizers, advised the organizers to reschedule the public meeting. He further asked the Mayor to cooperate with the Police to ensure that any future meetings be held in a lawful manner, in accordance with the existing procedures.
7. In spite of Mr. Kaweesi’s communication, the following day, Friday the 20th of April 2012, several persons assembled at Nansana, in preparation for a public meeting.
8. The Police officers present at the venue, led by Superintendent of Police Christopher Kasalawo, discussed with organizers and invited guests, including the Lord Mayor of Kampala and two members of Parliament, and they agreed to call off the meeting.
9. Consequently, the Police requested the assembly to disperse peacefully. The organizers and all other guests, including the Lord Mayor and the members of Parliament, complied with the advice and directions of the Police.
10. As the attendees left the area, they disrupted the flow of traffic along Nansana- Kampala Highway. SP Kasalawo intervened to direct the flow of traffic.
11. One of the motor vehicles at the scene, bearing registration number UAN 241 R, complied with SP Kasalawo’s direction to stop, in order to allow other vehicles to pass. Ms. Ingrid Turinawe was, at this time, seated in the front-passenger seat of this vehicle.
12. SP Kasalawo observed and heard Ingrid Turinawe instruct the driver of this vehicle to proceed in defiance of the Police instruction to wait. The driver refused to do so.
13. Ms. Ingrid Turinawe then took over the driver’s seat of the vehicle, and began to drive forward.
14. SP Kasalawo stood in front of the vehicle, in order to prevent Ms. Ingrid Turinawe from defying his lawful direction by forcing her way onto the road. He positioned himself in front of the vehicle, and in clear sight of the driver.
15. Ms. Ingrid Turinawe proceeded to move forward. The vehicle which she was driving repeatedly made contact with the body of SP Kasalawo.
16. The investigation team obtained video footage, taken by the Police Evidence Gathering Team, which captured these events and reviewed television news footage.
17. SP Kasalawo was placed in fear for his safety and those of other persons in the vicinity by the continuing defiance of his instructions and Ms. Turinawe’s repeatedly driving her vehicle against him.
18. SP Kasalawo made the decision to arrest Ms. Turinawe.
19. He instructed four female officers, namely, No. 39299 W/CPL Nalwoga Resty, No.40896 W/PC Apoo Jane Florence, No. 55058 W/PC Atim Stella and No. 53811 W/PC Alinda Irene, to effect the arrest of Ingrid Turinawe. Inspector Mukiibi supervised the arrest team.
20. The four female officers approached the vehicle, informed Ms. Turinawe that she was under arrest, and ordered her to exit the vehicle.
21. Ms. Turinawe refused to comply with this instruction and resisted arrest. The officers were therefore compelled to use force to remove her from the vehicle.
22. Ms. Turinawe continued to forcefully resist arrest, grabbing onto the vehicle’s steering wheel, striking and biting police officers.
23. Ms. Turinawe was finally arrested, and taken to Kawempe Police Station, and charged accordingly.
24. On reviewing the footage of the incident, the investigating team observed that, in the course of the struggle to arrest Ms. Turinawe, one officer, standing slightly behind the driver’s door, grasped Ms. Turinawe’s right breast in a forceful manner.
25. The investigation team identified this officer as No. 53811 W/PC Alinda Irene.
26. It is the action of W/PC Alinda Irene, in grasping the right breast of Ms. Turinawe, that lead to the establishment of this inquiry.
Analysis and Findings
27. In analyzing the evidence, and reviewing the facts of this incident, the investigating team considered the following points:
I. Was the decision to arrest Ms. Turinawe lawful?
II. Was it necessary to use force in the arrest of Ms. Turinawe?
III. Was the force employed in arresting Ms. Turinawe lawful, proportional, and non-discriminatory?
IV. Was there any breach of basic human rights and were the dignity and rights of Ms. Turinawe fully respected?
Was the decision to arrest Ms. Turinawe lawful?
28. When SP Kasalawo instructed the driver of Ms. Turinawe’s vehicle to stop, he complied. Ms. Turinawe loudly instructed him to disregard the Police directions, and drive on. The driver refused to do so. Ms. Turinawe then took control of the vehicle.
29. She defied the directions of Police, drove in a dangerous manner – making repeated contact with SP Kasalawo and placing him in fear for his safety.
30. In view of her continued defiance of lawful orders of the Police, and her becoming a danger and menace to persons in the vicinity, Ms. Turinawe left Police with no choice but to place her under arrest. The decision by SP Kasalawo to arrest Ms. Turinawe was, therefore, lawful and justified.
Was it necessary to use force to arrest Ms. Turinawe?
31. Ms. Turinawe was ordered, several times, to get out of the car by SP Kasalawo, and she defied the orders. When a team of four Policewomen attempted to arrest her, she forcefully resisted arrest, striking and biting them.
32. In such situations, Police officers are guided by the law on arrest, contained under Section 2 of the Criminal Procedure Code, CAP 116, Laws of Uganda, which provides: ‘In making an arrest, the police officer or other person making it shall actually touch or confine the body of the person to be arrested, unless there be a submission to the custody by word or action. If a person forcibly resists the endeavor to arrest him or her, or attempts to evade arrest, the police officer or other person making the arrest may use all means necessary to effect the arrest’.
33. From the video footage and statements of witnesses present at the scene, it is clear that Ms. Turinawe was forcefully resisting arrest. It was therefore necessary to ‘use all means necessary’, in this case, force, to effect her arrest.
Was the force used in arresting Ms. Turinawe lawful and proportional?
34. Having established that it was necessary to use force in the arrest of Ms. Turinawe, with the exception of the contact with Ms. Turinawe’s breast, the arrest team used only force which was absolutely necessary to take Ms. Turinawe into custody. The force was, therefore proportional in the circumstances. There was no evidence to suggest that Ms. Turinawe was personally targeted, from a group of persons conducting themselves in a manner similar to hers, or subjected to discriminatory force or violence.
Was there any breach of basic human rights and were the dignity and rights of Ms. Turinawe fully respected?
35. Having reviewed video evidence, considered the accounts of witnesses, as well as the statement of W/PC Alinda Irene, the investigating team found that the act, by W/PC Alinda Irene, of touching the breast of Ms Turinawe, was unnecessary, inappropriate and amounted to professional misconduct on the part of the officer.
36. While W/PC Alinda Irene stated that it was not her intention to harm, humiliate or violate the dignity of the Ms Turinawe, and that the touching of her breast was more a result of her awkward positioning and the heat of the moment, than any deliberate design to harm her, the team observed that Ms. Turinawe could still have been arrested without grasping her breast.
37. The investigation noted that W/PC Alinda Irene was positioned slightly behind Ms Turinawe, and did not have a clear line of sight of areas of the body that she attempted to grasp.
38. While this could have contributed to the blind grasping of Ms Turinawe’s breast, it still does not excuse the fact that it happened more than once, and that the officer should have given due regard to the dignity and privacy of the suspect she was arresting.
39. The investigating team recommends that W/PC Alinda Irene be tried before the Police Headquarters Disciplinary Court for either, or both, offences of Discreditable Conduct contrary to regulation 12, and for Behaving in a Cruel, Disgraceful and Indecent Manner, contrary to regulation 14(2), of the Police Disciplinary Code of Conduct, of the Police Act, CAP. 303.
40. The team further recommends that, should her services be retained subsequent to the trial, W/PC Alinda Irene should be considered for a refresher course commensurate with her rank and responsibilities, and with emphasis on the respecting of human rights.
S.KYOMUKAMA BEATA CHELIMOCOMMANDANT/PSU COMMANDANT