Who’s tear-gassing schoolchildren this week?

Look, I’m not about to suggest that the state of America’s policing is any better right now, but seriously, Kenya?

Around 100 primary school children and a small group of activists pushed over a newly built wall that separated playing fields and the school buildings, close to the capital Nairobi’s main domestic airport on Monday.

Around 40 armed police accompanied by dogs dispersed the protesters by firing tear gas canisters, an AFP news agency photographer at the scene said.

Dozens of children were caught in choking clouds of tear gas before being forced to shelter on a pedestrian bridge over the main road to escape the noxious fumes.

The children were aged between eight and 13 years old.

First of all, the kids pushed over the wall because somebody sold their school playground to a property developer, which is bullshit, and second of all, who tear-gasses elementary school kids? Who peruses that scene and says, “yep, these fourth graders are a real threat, let’s gas ’em”? The police are claiming that the kids threw rocks at them, which, OK, that’s not right, but they’re children! Surely the cops could have escaped grievous injury without inflicting injury themselves, on a bunch of (at the risk of repeating myself) freaking children?

The head of Kenya’s police oversight body has promised an investigation, so I guess we’ll see if gassing kids in Kenya elicits 30tougher police discipline than gunning kids down in America does.

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