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Egyptian policeman kills vendor, injures two in quarrel over 'a cup of tea'

Ahram Online , Tuesday 19 Apr 2016
Cairo
Circulated photo on social media of an overturned police car following the shooting of three people by a low ranking policeman, killing one and injuring two others
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Prosecutors in Egypt confirmed that Tuesday's lethal shooting of a street vendor by a lower ranking policeman in New Cairo took place after a quarrel over payment for "a cup of tea."

According to investigations conducted by the prosecution, three lower ranking policemen – the shooter who has been arrested, and his two peers who are still at large – were regular customers of the street vendor spot near the high-middle class residential compound of El-Rehab, where they reportedly always drank tea without paying for it.

Investigations indicate that the victim refused to serve the policemen for free, causing a verbal dispute that led to one of the policemen – identified as El-Sayed Zeinhom Abdel-Razek – firing shots in the air.

According to the prosecution, the victim suffered a fatal gunshot wound to the chest.

The prosecution added that when friends of the victim attempted to take the policeman’s weapon, another shot was fired, injuring another man.

Earlier on Tuesday, the interior ministry reported that two passers-by were injured in the shooting and taken to New Cairo’s Specialised Air Forces Hospital.

Following the shooting, angry bystanders surrounded the policemen's car in an attempt to attack them. The trio managed to escape before the shooter was arrested, while an arrest warrant has been issued for his colleagues.

Pictures and videos circulating on social media, seemingly taken from the scene in El-Rehab, showed an overturned police van with shattered windows which eyewitnesses say belonged to Abdel-Razek and his two colleagues.

A video circulated on social media showing an impromptu protest at the site of the shooting, with an angry crowd surrounding an ambulance and chanting "the interior ministry are thugs," a slogan that was chanted on different occasions over the past five years over police abuses.

Al-Ahram Arabic news website reported that police dispersed the crowd with warning sirens after their gathering led to the smashing of police and ambulance cars.

Reported pictures of the corpse of the unidentified victim were also circulated by social media users.

Interior minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar said in statements, according to the state-owned MENA agency, that any member of the police force who commits wrongdoings is referred directly to investigative bodies, stressing that any mistakes by individual policemen should not tarnish the “efforts and sacrifices” made by all policemen.

In February, another low-ranking policeman killed a driver in the working-class Cairo district of El-Darb El-Ahmar following a dispute over a fare.

A court sentenced the policeman to life in prison this month, one of the harshest sentences issued against police officials convicted of similar violent crimes. The verdict can still be appealed.

Abdel-Ghaffar promised in February the proposal of legislative amendments that would regulate the performance of security services, stressing that they would apply to the entire police force, not only low-ranking policemen.

The amendments have been referred to parliament but have not yet been voted on.

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Mario Andretti
20-04-2016 01:57pm
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Police
In Egypt police is out of control, a lot of people die in their hands by many reasons including torture
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Al
20-04-2016 01:42pm
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When will these thugs stop?
When they are hunted down by 'terrorists'? The lawless Egyptian police is more corrupt and dangerous than the criminals they're supposed to stop!
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Sam Enslow
19-04-2016 01:39pm
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Modern police training
Requests for 'dry tea' should not be standard police procedure. The police are entrusted with great power and their activities must be monitored by independent parties. In the US, it is 'The Thin Blue Line' that seeks to defend its own. I have, contrary to popular myth, met some very honorable Egyptian policemen, but too many bad ones as well. The bad should not be allowed to endanger the lives and reputations of the good. It is the job of the police to enforce the law with minimal force. It is up to the courts to find people innocent or guilty and impose punishments. Bad police practices will make any government fail. Bad practices also endanger the lives of the police in a society that sees them as an enemy to be avoided - not cooperated with.
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mario
20-04-2016 04:37am
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corrupt
all of egypts police are corrupt
expat
20-04-2016 12:14am
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sorry sam
in this country only 1! solution works
Steve
19-04-2016 09:20pm
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Agree with you Sam but..
Be careful what you say, because it really doesn't matter if there are "good" cops or "bad" cops. In the US, and anywhere in the world for that matter, police should be trained to serve and protect. I've seen it one too many times in Egypt, where police men work on bribes. I always tell my friends in Egypt, it should not nor should it ever be that way at all!
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