Three ERU officers have been identified, investigated and charged with manslaughter in violation of Chapter 14 Sub-Chapter A, Section 14.2 of the penal law of Liberia and dismissed from the services of the Liberia National Police, according to a statement issued by the LNP over the weekend.
The release, under the signature of Police Director Chris Massaquoi, said the decision was in compliance with chapter 3.0, 3.1 and 3.1.2 of the LNP Duty Manual entitled Prohibited Conduct, as well as, the ERU Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) Section 4.0, Sub-Section 4.1, captioned, “Command and Control” and forwarded to court for prosecution.
The case involved investigation into a shooting incident that occurred on the Bright’s Farm, along the Monrovia-Kakata highway on February 27, resulting to the injury and subsequent death of 32-yr-old Stephen Borbor (alias Kenneth), a resident of Mount Barclay.
The statement said on January 4, the LNP received a writ of arrest and detention from the Bensonville Magisterial Court under the signature of Mark S. Saah, for the arrest of one Isaac Urey, Morris Gaye, Jr. and others to be identified as defendants charged with the commission of the crimes, “criminal trespass, criminal mischief and contempt of court.” The writ in question was never attentioned to the ERU; hence the source of authority for the involvement of the three ERU officers into the execution of said writ was unilateral.
“Our investigation has established that the officers were contacted and picked up by the Operations Manager of the Bright’s Farm, Pius Z. George, within the vicinity of the Coca Cola Factory Community and taken to their farm without the knowledge of LNP/ERU authority. This seems to imply a prior arrangement between the Management of Bright’s Farm and the three ERU officers, which Mr. George categorically denied, but later admitted after thorough investigation. The act on the part of the three ERU officers by carrying such task is in violation of the ERU SOP Section 3.0 Sub-Section 3.1 captioned “Direct Command,” which states: “Direct command of the ERU is the responsibility of the ERU Commander who shall report to the Inspector General of Police through the Deputy Inspector General of Police for Operations. Routine deployment shall be under the direction of the ERU Commander in cooperation with the Deputy Director for Operations.”
“Additionally, the investigation has established that following the shooting incident, the three ERU officers and Mr. George proceeded to the home of Siafa Bright, the owner of the farm, discussed and agreed to conceal the identities of the officers, which they did initially.”
The statement further said, “Again and in view of the above references (LNP Duty Manual and ERU SOP), especially the ERU SOP, neither the Director of Police, the Deputy Director for Operations, nor the General Commander of ERU gave any authorization or approval for the deployment and/or assignment of the three ERU officers to the Bright’s farm on February 27. Hence, their action was ultra vires.”
Meanwhile, the LNP is still investigating the level of involvement by the Management of the Bright’s Farm, and if established, they shall be charged and forwarded to court for prosecution.
The LNP has warned all Police officers to uphold their oath to protect life and property, as well as, adhere to their ethics at all times; and refrain from engaging in any and all unprofessional and unethical acts which contravene the LNP duty manual and policies of this organization.
The LNP is therefore, resolved and committed to removing from its midst any and all Police officers who are bent on defaming the Image of the Police in the eyes of the public by their continuous acts of unprofessional conduct.