Video: Hundreds protest in Cairo following police shooting

Video: Hundreds protest in Cairo following police shooting
Egyptians have held a large spontaneous protest after a policeman shot a young man dead, as anger over widespread police brutality mounts.
2 min read
19 February, 2016
Anger over rampant police excesses fuelled the 2011 uprising [TNA]
Hundreds of protesters gathered outside of the Cairo security directorate on Thursday night after a policeman shot dead a tuk-tuk driver in the street, in the latest outburst of anger over rampant police brutality in Egypt.

Protesters surrounded the security directorate and chanted anti-government slogans after a plain-clothes policeman shot dead Mohammad Sayed, 24, in the central Cairo working-class district of Darb al-Ahmar.

Witnesses have said the policeman shot Sayed following a dispute over a fare. The police, however, have claimed the policeman was trying to break up a fight by firing warning shots into the air, accidently striking the tuk-tuk driver.

"A policeman fired his weapon to split up a fight, however, a bullet hit and killed a driver," the police said in a statement.

"Locals congregated to get a hold of the policeman, who was able to escape but the people accompanying him were seriously injured," the statement said.

The police added that they have later found the suspect policeman, who was leave at the time of the incident.

Footage of the protest showed hundreds of people massing outside the security directorate to protest the death.

"The police are thugs," the angry crowd chanted.

Egyptians took to social media to express their outrage at mounting police brutality, just a week after thousands of doctors held a rare protest against police they say beat two doctors at a Cairo hospital for refusing to falsify medical records.

"Oppression will not hold the state together, neither will protecting killers keep the regime safe from public discontent. Continuing with reckless brutality will inevitably lead to the end of justice for anyone," tweeted former lawmaker Mostafa Alnagar.

One activist called on Egyptians to hold more protests on Friday following prayers, calling it a "national duty".

Earlier this month, the body of a missing Italian graduate student was found on the outskirts of Cairo showing signs of torture, including electrocution - hallmarks of police torture.

Police have denied allegations of involvement in the death.

Anger over rampant police excesses fuelled the 2011 uprising that ended Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule and began on a Police Day holiday.