Arrested for no reason? This is how to avoid the ‘Black Maria’

police van
Photo/Nairobi Knights

I was just strolling the streets when police arrested me.
They stopped me on my way home and asked me to get inside the Black Maria. That’s how I found myself in the cell.
I was waiting for a matatu at stage when police impounded on me.
I had stopped shortly to rest when Kanjo confiscated my luggage and loaded me into their van.
They arrested me then framed me for possession of bhang.
In short, I was arrested for nothing!

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Arbitrary arrests are very common in the city. You may be going to work, home, school and the next thing you know, you are doing rounds in the city inside the Black Maria or holed up with criminals in a dingy police cell. If you ask, ‘Why was I arrested?’ you cannot find any reason! This article will help you avoid police arrests.

Tips to avoid getting arrested in Nairobi

Know your rights. Police are highly likely to arrest you if you look like you don’t know anything. They should be able to tell you why they are arresting you, but to get this information you must also know which rights are being violated.

police brutality

Be on the safe side of the law. Police will most definitely arrest you if you are breaking the law. Though you may give something small to get away with it, one day you will be arrested for being on the wrong side of the law. For instance, drug peddling, assaulting your spouse and neglecting your children can land you in police custody very fast.

Read Also: Kenya security guide for women

Avoid loitering on the streets aimlessly. If you look like you have no clue where you are headed, pray that you don’t bump into police officers because they may just decide there is enough space in the police cells.

Avoid crowds. Crowds can attract a lot of attention … and bad luck. Imagine you are walking on the streets, and suddenly there is this group of people that make you curious. You join them, trying to also catch a glimpse of what is happening. It happens that they are beating up an alleged lawbreaker. Within no time, police arrive and start loading up everyone into their van. They may even shoot if there is a disorder to restore order, and just like that, a stray bullet lands on you. Avoid crowds in Nairobi.

Do not walk on the streets drunk. Neither should you drink and drive. Walking on the streets drunk may cause you more harm than just staggering into a ditch. Police will arrest you for being drunk and disorderly.

drunk
If you have a habit of sleeping on the trenches, police may give you accommodation in the cells.

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Be modest and decent. Imagine yourself walking the streets while dressing like a sex worker, then you just happen to stop at some corner or even stage. If the police spot you, they may think that you are a commercial sex worker who is soliciting sex.

Have you been arrested for no reason, and how did you handle it? Please share your experience in the comments box.

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