Photos and video clips circulated on social networking sites on Tuesday showing angry crowds smashing a police vehicle and blocking a road after riots broke over police shooting of the vendor in the eastern Cairo suburb of Rehab.
“The police are thugs … The Interior Ministry are thugs,” chanted the crowd of several hundreds who gathered after three policemen reportedly argued with a street vendor over the price of a cup of tea and then one of the officers shot two people, killing the vendor.
Brigadier General Hesham Amer, police chief of the New Cairo district, said the policeman, who had fled the scene after shooting, was arrested, and referred to the prosecutors, adding that the wounded man was taken to a nearby hospital. The Interior Ministry said in a statement that two people were injured in the incident.
“There are clashes between the police and locals. Security forces brought in two riot police vehicles and an armored truck and the victim's family is here and pelting them with rocks,” said a witness who posted a video online, adding, “Security forces are retreating and promising justice but the crowd is demanding police hand over the killer”.
The incident comes amid rising public anger in Egypt about widespread police brutality with many blaming security forces for being excessively violent in dealing with the poor. The security forces are also accused of killing Italian student Giulio Regeni in Cairo this year.