7 Suspended

An unknown man, believed to be in his mid 30s, was allegedly murdered by officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP) during the early morning hours of Saturday, September 28.

The man’s killing prompted a violent and angry demonstration from angry young men, who threw stones and other objects at any police officers they could set their eyes on.

Their demonstration led to the blocking of the main highway leading from Monrovia to the Roberts International Airport. They were acting on the allegation that officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) had murdered one of their colleagues.

According to some of them, their friend, whom they couldn’t identify by name, had come out early Saturday morning at few minutes past 6 a.m. to begin his “from-hand-to-mouth, daily hustle” when police officers arrested, beat and killed him. They further stated that the police said he (the deceased) had violated the curfew.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf imposed a curfew in early August from nine p.m. to six a.m. and later reduced it from 11 p.m. to six a.m. 

According to an eyewitness, who asked that his name be kept secret for fear of his life, said that he was on the scene when the police attacked the deceased and murdered him.

This fellow told journalists that when the police officers, who had murdered this young man, noticed that he had seen what they had done, they took after him.

“I ran for my life, too. As I was running, I began shouting so that people in the community must get up and see what the police had done.”

He further disclosed that while the deceased was alive, he overheard him saying, as he argued with the police: “But look at the time, it’s already 6:10 a.m.; the curfew has already passed so why do you want to arrest me? I can’t give you people my ipad and telephone, I have a lot of personal documents on them.”

In a related development, another unknown man had spent two days lying down half dead few feet from where the man was murdered on Saturday morning.

This other man is just around the fence of the Isaac A. David High School, adjacent the Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) main complex. According to one Liberian National Red Cross (LNRC) staff, the man has been there since Saturday, September 27.

Our Health Correspondent, who visited the scene late Sunday evening saw personnel of the Liberia National Red Cross and Médécins Sans Frontieres (MSF), who, too, did nothing to rescue him. After a while lurking around, they drove away in their vehicles, leaving the helpless man struggling to take his last breath. It’s not clear if he had been removed up to press time as our correspondent left him lying there by 5:30 p.m., and no one to help him.

Workers of the LNRC are tasked with removing ‘Ebola dead’ from community.

Meanwhile, Police Spokesperson Sam Collins, in a release Sunday said, “The Liberia National Police has announced with immediate effect the indefinite suspension of seven of its officers pending investigation surrounding the death of an unidentified man at the ELWA Junction, which resulted into pandemonium and road block interrupting the free flow of traffic while on assignment. The suspension of the seven officers took immediate effect from Saturday, September 27, 2014.”

According to them, they considered the situation serious, and its Crimes Services Division has immediately launched an investigation into the matter to establish the cause of death.     “The body of the unidentified man has been deposited at a local funeral home, while the police investigation is ongoing. The Police would like to reaffirm its fullest commitment to the rule of law, and called on Liberians and those residing in the country not to take laws into their own hands.”


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