West Hills Mall incident : Parliamentary committee to probe killing of Shadrack Arloo
The Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Andrew Asiamah Amoako, has tasked the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament to look into police brutality that led to the death of Shadrack Arloo, 33, at the West Hills Mall in Accra this year.
He said the committee must investigate the circumstances that resulted in the death of the deceased and report to the House within two weeks.
“I understand this committee is looking into the Ashaiman military case and they must add this. We want action within two weeks,” he directed.
The Speaker gave the directive after he had referred a statement presented by the National Democratic Congress Member of Parliament (MP) for Jomoro, Dorcas Toffey, to the Defence and Interior Committee.
The MP’s statement was on police brutality resulting in the “tragic and unjust killing” of Mr Arloo at the West Hills Mall on January 30, 2023.
Ms Toffey had prayed that her statement be referred to the Committee on Defence and Interior to conduct an independent parliamentary probe into the true circumstances leading to the death of Shadrack and to make relevant recommendations that would inform policy and legislative response to avoid any future recurrence.
Ms Toffey told the House that at the time of Shadrack’s unfortunate death, his family had completed travel arrangements that would have seen him fly from Ghana to Germany the next day, with his flight already confirmed.
She said between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on the day that Shadrack prematurely lost his life, he, in the company of one Ibrahim Sakyi, had visited the West Hills Mall to buy some items for his new apartment.
As they were walking through the mall, the two men were stopped by a police officer who demanded to search the deceased without a warrant, she said.
The MP said when the officer insisted on conducting the said search, Shadrack left the bag he was carrying with the police officer and took to his heels.
“The police officer quickly raised a false alarm that Shadrack was a thief, drawing the attention of other persons nearby, including the private security officers stationed at the mall.”
“Mr Speaker, any fair-minded Ghanaian who watches the horrendous scenes captured in videos widely circulating on social media on the final moments of Shadrack’s life would be horrified and deeply traumatised by the sequence of events and actions that claimed his life,” she said.
Begging for life
The deceased, she narrated, was handcuffed while he was on the floor and beaten several times, groaning helplessly and virtually begging for his life.
“Even though Shadrack had become incapacitated and vulnerable during his ordeal, the videos show a uniformed police officer kneeling close to his head, tasing him several times in the full glare of other police officers, private security officers and some of the staff of the West Hills Mall.”
“Indeed, no citizen or resident of Ghana, no matter his alleged crime, deserves that kind of extrajudicial treatment. Simply put, Shadrack was deliberately killed by peace officers paid by the taxpayer to protect Ghanaian lives,” she said.
The MP said the tragic story of Shadrack added to the growing menace of police and military personnel attacking, harassing, brutalising and killing innocent citizens unjustly.
“The raging menace marks a worrying escalation of violence in this country,” she said.
She, therefore, urged colleague MPs to speak with one powerful voice and collectively condemn Shadrack’s killing in no uncertain terms.