Police, Marketers Clash

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Street vendors at Red Light who became defiant early yesterday clashed with the Liberia National Police (LNP) riot squad, backed by the Paynesville City Police (PCP) in an attempt to remove (vendors) them from the newly paved street.

The vendors at Red Light have continued to defy all actions by police officers to keep them off the main thoroughfare.

It all started early yesterday when dozens of LNP and PCP officers stormed the area and started breaking down makeshift market stalls constructed close to the main road.

The officers demolished the market stalls and drove away street vendors. They promised to continue the exercise in the next one month to give way to pedestrians and moving vehicles.

The exercise began at the police depot in the heart of Red Light and extended to the famous Ma Kebbeh Gas Station, opposite the National Transit Authority (NTA) parking station.

While LNP officers were destroying the market stalls, verbal skirmishes were observed between police officers and the sellers.

Drivers who were earlier happy for the police action to provide space for their vehicles to move, were themselves affected as some their vehicles that were in violation of traffic rules got arrested and towed to the SKD parking point.

A cross-section of folks that often carry on business transactions in the market expressed delight for the police actions to remove “ruthless and lawless street vendors.”

They expressed the hope that actions instituted against street vendors who are ‘stubborn and defiant’ will be contained and not allowed to resurface.

“In recent months,” one police officer remarked, “lawlessness and disorderly conduct at Red Light have become common.”

One driver, Roland B. Farkollie welcomed the police action, which he described as timely.

Private vehicle owner Morgan Philips noted that the action to break down market stalls on the street was best thing that police could do about the perennial situation.

Pedestrian Mary B. Kortee expressed thanks to the LNP and the PCP for breaking down market stalls that continue to create hindrance to the free-flow of traffic.

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