The incident of the police officer who killed a vendor over a dispute on price of a cup of tea has sparked a protest involving hundreds of Cairo’s people.
Police Chief Heshan Amer of the New Cairo district reported a policeman fatally shot the 21-year-old Mostafa Mohamed Mostafa and wounded two other men with his assault rifle after he and two other officers refused to pay for a cup of tea in Cairo’s suburb of Rehab.
The offending cop, Al-Sayyed Zeinhem Abdel Razzaq, was arrested after dozens of bystanders gathered around him following the incident and detained him until the police came.
Hundreds of protesters than took to the street in protest of the cold-blooded killing and overturned a police car while chanting “the police are thugs.”
" قتله عشان كوباية شاي بجنيه ، أداله كام طلقة في ضهره وصدره " pic.twitter.com/C9rvP58wrZ— Abdelfattah Alsisi (@alsiisii) April 19, 2016
More violence broke out as paramedics tried to take away the body of the dead vendor and police had to disperse the crowd.
The Interior Minister Magdy Abdel-Ghaffar has referred the police officer to the prosecutor’s office for the homicide.
Mostafa was buried in his village in Minya governorate in Upper Egypt.
The incident was the latest example of police brutality in Cairo. In February, a court sentenced another police officer for life for killing a 24-year-old taxi driver over a fare dispute.
A few weeks earlier, an officer barged into the city’s Matariya hospital and demanded a doctor give him stitches for a head injury. When the doctor refused, he pummeled the doctor and his colleague and took them into custody.
The incidence led to a strike by Egyptian doctors who carried messages on placards asking: “I'm a doctor, who will treat my dignity wound?”
Human rights advocates say the culture of impunity among Egypt’s law enforcement forces has led to an increase in police brutality. Trials in such cases are rare and even when they do convict an officer, sentences can be appealed and easily reduced.