‘Leave the Police and Go If Dissatisfied’

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In the US State Department’s annual human rights report about Liberia, police are at the center of corruption for extorting money from drivers; something that Police authorities have neither denied nor conceded .

Police Spokesman reacts to police complaints as commercial drivers confess deliberate traffic violations

Police spokesman Moses Carter has reacted sharply to complaints about the Liberia National Police (LNP)suggesting  that officers are poorly treated by the government.

Views solicited during the last week in May suggest that police officers hardly receive supplies including uniforms, and if there would be any, it is given by preferential treatment to officers who may be in senior positions.  Furthermore, some officers have confided in this paper that their meager salaries promised to be given have been cut and the residue hardly comes on time; something they claim makes them act as traffic officers without any authority to do so.

“If a police officer is not satisfied with the job, let him leave and go to find another thing to do.  Some will come in an organization with a mindset to earn more money like US$1,000 or US$500.00, and more, but the government can give you what it can afford for your worth.  Everyone has his worth.  So, if you think you can earn more than what you are given, leave the Police and find a different thing to do,” Carter said, adding, “This should not serve as a point to carry on any unprofessional act, and if we find out those police officers, we will take administrative action.”

An officer serving in the Police Support Unit (PSU) says patrol officers who have earned a college degree make US$150 and a Liberian dollar component of $3,000, while an officer without a degree earns US$100 with a Liberian dollar component of L$3,000.  Senior officers with college credentials according to the source receive US$300 with an additional Liberian dollar component of not less than $10,000.

“You know, the pay varies from stage to stage. I have a college degree from the University of Liberia and must receive US$300, but our bosses say the LNP no longer controls the payroll but the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.  This money has been cut down to US$240.00, and if this can happen to me, think about those who are without a degree and below in rank,” said the police source.

The source further explained: “Uniform business is a challenge that the government will select some few senior officers to supply them uniforms while the rest are left with the old uniforms they received while graduating from the Police Training Academy.”

Additionally, the source said “Even in supplying the very officers, uniforms will come without boots and caps; so this force we are in is just a frustrating one.  We as PSU and ERU officers do not have to go in the traffic to control it, but because the salaries the government cuts are not coming on time and our families have to eat, we sometimes push the Traffic Officers aside to perform their roles.”

Further reacting to the claims in a wrathful tone, Mr. Carter continued: “Okay, you are a human being talking to me.  If you have a job and you are not satisfied, what do you do?  Leave and go, but you cannot exploit other people for that.”

However critics note the much proclaimed Security Sector Reform (SSR) conducted under the auspices of the UN have proved to be a failure given the endless spate of public  complaints of abuse of people’s rights by  the Police and other state security organs including the military. The Police, especially is often accused, by commercial drivers of harassment and extortion.

In the US State Department’s annual human rights report about Liberia, police are at the center of corruption for extorting money from drivers; something that Police authorities have neither denied nor conceded .

Scores of commercial drivers spoken to in Monrovia last week admitted that to some extent, they are responsible for the habitual extortion of money from commercial drivers by the Police, aside from the demeaning treatment  they receive at the hands of other state security officers.

Taking off from the intersection of Broad and Randall Streets with four passengers, the taxi driver who had parked in a driveway said, after being pardoned by the traffic Police said:  “I was just making big mouth because of my connection with the higher-up, but frankly speaking I am wrong for parking there and the officer was right to even issue me a ticket.”

“People do not respect the police because of how the state is treating them.  If the government sees it as a major security sector to give members good salaries, they would not stand to argue with drivers for the violation but just issue them tickets to pay money to the government.  But see how our police can even appear in the streets; so dirty in ragged uniform that one cannot tell whether or not it is blue or black,” said a passenger on board the vehicle”.

Another driver leaving from the ELWA Junction to central Monrovia began the confession in Congo Town:  “We drivers violate daily.  Even if you look at the body of my car, the view mirror is broken and some of my lights are not functioning.  Some places we park to get passengers are not appropriate.  So the police can be right to stop us, and we ourselves take money to bribe them.”

From the 72nd Junction to SKD Boulevard Junction, a driver said:  “Most of the cars we drive don’t belong in the city, and we are violating every day, but the police are in uniform and their own is the one people see and so the blame is on them.”

A senior police officer at the ELWA Junction who prefers not to be named said,” We are blamed because of our position and the work we do, but these drivers are in violation every minute.  See these cars, they are not registered as commercial vehicles but are commercialized.  Some will open doors in the traffic, and most of the drivers you see do not have a driver’s license.”

According to him, a lot of vehicle owners register as private because they do not want to pay what is stipulated for a commercial vehicle to pay to the government, something that may constitute tax evasion.  According to the officer, commercial vehicles pay US$190 to register, while private vehicles, based on the type of engines, pay US$100.00 or less.

“We take the blame unjustly but the drivers are the cause, and sometimes you will see passengers and other passer-by cussing us, but we continue to accept it because this is where we are placed to serve,” said the officer.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Moses Carter is an idiot and just needs to shut up. Can he live on the $150 per month they are giving police officers? Incompetent fools like him are principal reasons why Liberia is still lagging behind.

  2. Moses carter, another moron of an idiot masquerading around the place as police professional with his empty skull. this fool of a criminal who lies like crazy has got nothing to do or say but to run his loud mouth out on peaceful citizens. Liberia has got lots of criminals incompetent jokers placed in wrong positions.

  3. 1. The Police is making more money than what has been reported in this paper.
    2. Police officers in Liberia are doing a sacrificial job; therefore, they must be talked to with respect, Mr. Carter.
    3. Please keep the Police out of politics, Daily Observer.

  4. Leave the police force n go where Mr. Carter? Your response to your colleagues i think is been so harsh chief. These are all trained n qualified Liberian like any other person. Whether rain or sunshine, they are there to protect lives n properties. Let us treat them with dignity and respect sir. Security deserve to be well paid

  5. Moses Carter may have tangible reason into this issue. Individuals nowadays enters into an organization (security force) without having the career desire to serves the organization. Most of the officers were not their desire join the police force because of the joblessness they has found their ways there. People should not for

  6. Is police extorting money from drivers not a norm and or an understanding between the drivers and the police? Look, if you people have nothing to write, just do not write.

    On the other hand, Moses Carter is right. The freedom of movement extends to also leaving one job and moving to another job.

    If a police officer feels he knows too much book to be paid what the police has to offer for his or her service, he or she should just quietly leave. It is as simple as that.

  7. Mr. Moses Carter, we hope that indisciplined and extremely wicked police officer Sonnie Jallah who killed that innocent baby (Francis Mensah) in West Point has be kicked out of the police forever! On top of that she MUST SERVE HER TERM IN IMPRISONMENT following her trial.

    Family of Late Francis Mensah Craves Justice Minister Musa Dean to Ensure Accountability in Child’s Death

    Little Mensah, three, died of severe burn from hot water allegedly poured on him by a female police officer enforcing government’s lockdown order.

    The officer alleged kicked a pot of boiling hot water on the toddler while he was entering his grandparents’ house in West Point in the evening hours on April 20, 2020.

    He was rushed to the John F Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia where he died of the injury few days later.

    Meanwhile, in a communication to Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean, the family through its lawyer, Finley Karngar said, since the death of little Mensah, the Liberia National Police (LNP) is yet to make available report of the investigation.

    “Because of the unexpected/unexplained delay of the LNP to provide any information whatsoever on the status of the ongoing investigation, the family is requesting your assistance to ensure there is a report from the investigation,” Cllr. Karngar wrote Minister Dean on behalf of the victim’s family.

    According to Cllr. Karngar, immediately after the incident and in the aftermath of Mensah’s demise, the family wrote the LNP, complaining the action of its officer but up to present, the police has not responded.

    He said even though the family did not hear from the LNP, they again informed the police of little Mensah’s death on April 26, 2020 and requested permission to bury the corpse because it was fast decaying at the JFK’s mortuary.
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    “When she came, she said we should pack the things and get indoor; while packing the things, she kicked the water from the fire and everything wasted on Francis and he got burned. Her name is Sonnie Jallah and since that day, we have not seen her yet.”
    Mabel McGill, Mother of Three-Year-Old Deceased

    In the wake of the incident on April 20, 2020, the victim’s 17-year-old mother, Mabel McGill told FrontPageAfrica that the toddler’s grandmother had bathed him and she [the mother] had gone inside to get clothes for him.

    She said, within that time, the police officer came and asked them to go inside the house and while she was packing her things to enter the house, she kicked the pot with the boiling water which dumped on the lower parts of Mensah’s body, including his genitals.

    “When she came, she said we should pack the things and get indoor; while packing the things, she kicked the water from the fire and everything wasted on Francis and he got burned. Her name is Sonnie Jallah and since that day, we have not seen her yet,” explained McGill.

    She tearfully narrated that despite the family galvanizing resources to pay for her late son’s medical treatment, he died of the wound few days later.

    Meanwhile, for the family and residents of West Point, little Mensah’s death is a reminiscence of the late Shaki Kamara’s incidence in August, 2014, at the height of another deadly disease outbreak, the Ebola epidemic.

    Karmara, 16 was fatally shot in the leg by a member of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) who were called up to assist the LNP in restraining residents of West Point from breaking quarantine. The incident sparked widespread condemnation amid series of protests.

    Mensah’s family, through their lawyer is calling on the Attorney General to intervene to ensure justice is served.

    “Knowing that the Ministry of Justice is the head for law enforcement in Liberia. To put differently, the family does not want the recurrence of little Shakie Kamara’s story,” Cllr. Karngar wrote.

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