Police ‘Always Tamper With Crime Scenes’

8
930
Cllr. Arthur T. Johnson

Cllr. Arthur Johnson

A prominent Liberian lawyer, Cllr. Arthur Tamba Johnson has strongly condemned what he claims is “the action by the Liberia National Police to always tamper with crime scenes ahead of the conduct of criminal investigations.”

In a podcast recently after the mysterious deaths of Albert Peters and Victoria Lamah, two employees of the Liberia Revenue Authority (LRA), Cllr. Johnson said most times criminal investigations in Liberia produce no good outcomes because crime scenes are usually not protected from unauthorized persons by the Police.

Cllr. Arthur Johnson is the head of the Consortium of Legal Practitioners (CLP), a law firm established by him. He is also an instructor of Criminal Justice at the African Methodist Episcopal Zion University (AMEZU) and a couple of other professional schools offering the same subject.

It may be recalled that when the remains of Albert Peters and Victoria Asmah Lamah (Gifty) were uncovered in a vehicle on Broad Street in central Monrovia, the Liberia National Police admitted a number of errors, including not protecting the scene. However, in its own defense, Chief of Police Patrick Sudue said the lapses by his men were not egregious enough to contaminate the evidence or interfere with the investigation.

“Crime scenes must be protected at all times in order to help in an investigation to come out with the right information connected to the mysterious death of a person. The Police are not to touch the surfaces of the crime scenes with their bare hands, neither is any other group of people allowed to do so,” he said.

He added: “As a criminal investigator, I don’t want to believe that where the car was parked on Broad Street was indeed the crime scene. I don’t want to believe that that scene is the possible crime scene. It was faked.”

Johnson said fingerprints, saliva and other specimens on the lifeless bodies of people suspected to have died mysteriously are very important in a forensic criminal investigation.

He said no one should have gone ahead to open the vehicle in which the deceased persons were, but should have been done using special hand gloves.

He emphasized that the Liberia National Police (LNP) lacks the needed logistics to do their work and that the forensic lab at the LNP headquarters is not up to standard, thereby leading to faulty investigation reports always published by the police.

Johnson admonished the government to do all it can to find the perpetrators who ‘murdered’ Victoria Lamah and Albert Peters or else, it will be unerased that the country is unsafe and not necessary for investment.

Moses Carter, Spokesperson of the Liberia National Police (LNP), said while the LNP admitted to some procedural errors on October 2 following the mysterious deaths of Peters and Lamah, Cllr. Johnson’s assertion that police officers contribute to tampering with crime scenes is unfounded.

“Cllr. Johnson has the right to say what he says but we have to be mindful of what we say out there to the public. The truth is what matters, not just individual opinions,” Carter explained.

He said at no time did the Police go to a crime scene without following all of the necessary crime investigation protocols including the use of the requisite equipment needed to give the investigation its true value.

Carter called on anyone who has an interest in seeing how equipped the LNP forensic lab is to visit his office to see what they have.

“Our lab is well equipped and those who operate it are trained and up to the task. There is no need to lie to the public. This is why, since this administration came to power, we have always concluded investigations and presented to the public our reports,” Carter claims.

“About how some individual members of our society think about Police operations, we don’t have control over that but what I can say is that we are doing our job in the confines of the law and to the best of our capacity,” he said.

The Police spokesman added that all those wearing the Liberia National Police uniform were properly trained and are up to the task.

“Alone or as part of the joint security, the LNP is not an underdog force. We have our professional men and women in uniform who are doing their utmost best in ensuring that lives and properties are protected,” said Carter.

He added: “With accident or mysterious death, we equally regret the situation but they are usually ahead of us all as human beings. All we can do is to investigate and find the cause, and at the same time bring the perpetrators to justice.”

Author

  • David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

Previous articlePolice Brutalize Judicial Staff in Peaceful Protest
Next articleDeveloping Entrepreneurship in a Digital Economy
David S. Menjor is a Liberian journalist whose work, mainly in the print media has given so much meaning to the world of balanced and credible mass communication. David is married and interestingly he is also knowledgeable in the area of education since he has received some primary teacher training from the Kakata Rural Teacher Training Institute (KRTTI). David, after leaving Radio Five, a broadcast media outlet, in 2016, he took on the challenge to venture into the print media affairs with the Dailly Observer Newspaper. Since then he has created his own enviable space. He is a student at the University of Liberia.

8 COMMENTS

  1. The counselor is damn right for him claim; the vehicle with the lifeless bodies should have been towed rather than driven by the police.

    It’s like destroying evidence, that which should be protected by the police.

  2. The counselor is damn right for his claim; the vehicle with the lifeless bodies should have been towed rather than driven by the police.

    It’s like destroying evidence, that which should be protected by the police.

  3. Why lie on yourself, that your lab is well equipped? Can you do DNA test in there to determine whether sex occurred between the two deceased, as was speculated? Do you have finger print expert to do a swap of the inner portion of the car from that of the outer to know besides the two persons found dead in the car, there was a third persons in the car? or on the bodies,etc. Do you have the expertise, the medical examiner and a crime lab van to place the bodies of the victim in, etc. He was only trying to call the attention of the National Government to provide you with those logistics; so stop being political and be a police professional.
    At least you tried to treat the Nyensuah crime scene better and the others.

  4. Weah, Tweah, Tweahway, McGill and Koijee are responsible for the death of our professionals who refused to compromise their professional ethics. Thus, they became victims of the brutal wrath of the vandals in power. Those who refuse to learn the lesson of history are bound to repeat historical mistakes!

  5. “Our lab is well equipped and those who operate it are trained and up to the task. There is no need to lie to the public. This is why, since this administration came to power, we have always concluded investigations and presented to the public our reports,”

    Really ? So why do many cases go unsolved ? Do you do DNA test then if you assert that your lab is well equiped? I guess we’ll have a solution in sight then as the LNP’s lab is well equipped. We’ll take your word for it ? Thank you Sir!

    “The Police spokesman added that all those wearing the Liberia National Police uniform were properly trained and are up to the task.”

    Really? So the homicide team that arrived at the site of the discovery were well up to task by tempering with the evidence? Oh, sorry sir, I got carried away, you said those in uniform. Those ones were not in uniform. Should we believe that all LNP officers wearing uniform ( I assume that includes detectives in plain clothes”) are up to task ? Well I have seen more than a handful up to task collecting money from drivers and handling cases at the police stations. Yes, sir , they are all up to task !

    The LNP could definitely use some honesty and capacity building. We can’t have a reckless police force. It’s about serving and protecting, not about fancy talk!

  6. “Carter called on anyone who has an interest in seeing how equipped the LNP forensic lab is to visit his office to see what they have”.

    No thanks, invite the media and let them publish it on here, We are can see it without leaving our homes!

Leave a Reply