As though the shooting of unarmed protesters by Police in Kingsville on Monday, June 24, 2019, was not sanctioned by any superior officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP), the President, George Weah has called on authorities of the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) to move quickly and probe circumstances surrounding the “unfortunate” incident that reportedly left a citizen dead and others injured in Montserrado County.
The President, according to a release issued by the Executive Mansion, ordered the MoJ to ensure that findings of the investigation of the incident are concluded within no longer than a week.
President Weah who, according to the release, was shocked by news of the death of Abraham Temeh in the aftermath of shooting incident that took place in Kingsville involving local residents and LNP officers, has extended his sympathies to the family of the deceased.
He assured residents of Kingsville and Liberians in general that his administration will continue to uphold every tenet of democracy, including protecting the rights of its people exercising their constitutional rights.
President Weah assured the family of the late Abraham Temeh that expeditious justice will be served to them.
It can be recalled that #7 Kingsville, Montserrado County, was a scene of rioting on Monday, June 24, 2019, when aggrieved citizens of the town gathered and blocked the main road from Red-Light to Kakata in demand for justice for two boys, Elijah Porluma, 9, and Thomas Kollie, 10, who were reportedly abducted and later killed allegedly for ritual purposes early this month.
It began without violence during the morning hours, when local residents blocked a major highway corridor to the interior in what the aggrieved residents said was an attempt to draw the government’s attention to perceived injustice given what they see as the lack of appropriate police response to the killing of the two boys. Later, it turned violent when a few LNP officers sent to contain the situation began using force to disperse the demonstrators to restore the free flow of traffic.
The demonstrators were holding aloft placards bearing inscriptions that read, “We want justice,” as they occupied the middle of the road with themselves and abandoned pieces of timber and metallic objects used to set up the roadblock.
According to eyewitness accounts, the police at first spoke to the aggrieved residents to allow the free movement of vehicular traffic, but they refused.
“If we will die like the children who were killed, we will die; but we cannot leave this place until justice is done,” the residents declared.
Following the failure of the Police to convince the protesters to disperse, they regrouped and advanced towards the protesters in a tactical move, which succeeded in dispersing them. As the LNP officers attempted to remove the roadblocks, they were greeted by a hail of stones and other flying objects, which provoked the discharge of firearms (AK-47s) using live ammunition.
“While responding officers of the LNP were trying to remove the road blocks and illegal checkpoints from the highway,” said a statement signed by LNP director of public affairs, H. Moses Carter, “they were stiffly resisted with stone-throwing protesters and the use of other dangerous weapons, including steel rods and petrol bombs, which resulted in the injuries of three residents of Kingsville including Saah Saah, 18, Dave Mombo, 18, and Abraham Tumba, 17 years old, all of the same community.
Also, two officers, namely: Morris Dahn, and Gbornimah Barmabia sustained head and leg injuries.
An eyewitness report says one person identified as Abraham Smith was shot dead in the incident, while another suggests that he was instead shot and severely wounded in leg, but was not killed.