Police have denied allegations an officer shot Jerreh Cham in the eye.
The family of Mr Cham alleged on Friday a PIU officer shot him in the eye with a rubber bullet at a disputed land in Sukuta Salagi.
In a statement, police said: “On Friday 15th July 2022, while officers of the Police Intervention Unit were on guard at the government demarcated land at Salagi, some youths of Sukuta mobilised themselves to cause vandalism by removing pegs and lines/markings used in the mapping of the land area allocated for Salagi market and car park.
“As the Standard Operating Procedures and rules of engagement, different layers of engagement to de-escalate the situation were used. The officers reached out to the youths to peacefully disperse them.
“However, they failed to adhere to the call of officers to peacefully disperse. Subsequently, numerous proclamations were made to have them dispersed but to no avail, leaving the officers with no option but to use reasonable means to disperse them.
“They were engaged with the use of light tear gas canisters which caused them to flee the scene.
“During the pandemonium to flee the scene, one Jerreh Cham was believed to have fallen on some obstacles causing him injuries. He was later arrested and escorted to the hospital for medical attention.
“Contrary to information spread around that he was shot with a rubber bullet, we wish to make it abundantly clear for the records that the crowd at the scene was engaged with the use of light tear gas canisters only.
“Further study of the nature of injuries sustained by the suspect will confirm that, technically rubber bullets cannot inflict such injuries on individuals.
We continue to reassure the public that our officers will operate within the limits of the laws and effectively protect the fundamental human rights of individuals at all times. The Inspector General’s Office wishes to call on the general public to be law abiding and desist from provoking unrest.
“The public is further encouraged to always use peaceful means including use of competent courts of law to seek redress especially in matters of land disputes, rather than taking the law into their own hands.” However a family source told The Standard that the do not believe the police’s story and that they will involve independent bodies such as the national human rights commission to look into the matter.