In the US state of Minnesota, a Police officer and several of his colleagues get fired for using excessive force that led to the death of a man under their watch and control. The officer is charged with several counts of murder and he is convicted on all counts.
In Harper city, Maryland county, on April 4, 2021, a female Police officer, Sergeant Rebecca Nimely, was physically assaulted by a local Police Commander, Colonel Jacob Cummeh, right on the premises the Maryland County Police detachment headquarters in the open public.
Photographs taken of the victim show a bloodied officer with wounds on her face and bruises on parts of her body, which constitutes clear evidence of the results of his physical assault on Sergeant Nimely.
Police spokesperson Moses Carter in response to queries has told the Daily Observer that the media has politicized the entire affair.
When quizzed further about developments attending the situation in Harper, he said the accused Colonel Jacob Cumming was physically assaulted by Sergeant Nimely.
He further claimed that Colonel Cummeh punched /Sergeant Nimley in the face because she was biting hard on his finger and would not let go despite pleas from fellow officers.
Moreover, he acknowledged that Police Inspector Cummeh was already in town in response to widespread concerns that he had not been suspended pending investigation into the affair.
But Sergeant Nimley contends that Police higher-ups are engaged in a coverup scheme intended to shield Inspector Cummeh from accounting for the violence he meted against her person and the injuries she sustained in the process.
Police spokesperson Moses Carter claims that Sergeant Nimley received blows to her face because she was biting down on his finger has raised questions about how the perpetrator’s finger got into her mouth.
It also raises the question of Police discipline, which has significantly declined under the leadership of Colonel Patrick Sudue, a retired law enforcement officer told the Daily Observer recently.
According to him, morale is said to be at an all time low, owing to various reasons ranging from poor working conditions including low salaries, to the lack of requisite equipment.
Also, very poor vetting processes have resulted in the recruitment of individuals of questionable characters into the ranks of the Police.
More to this, the recent string of unsolved murders in the city of Monrovia has tended to cast even more doubt about the capability and capacity of the Liberia National Police (LNP) to protect their lives and security.
Questions are being asked just why would a senior Police officer lose his composure to a point where he becomes engaged in violent confrontation with a subordinate in the open public?
What message was he conveying to the public by his violent behavior?
More besides, was it Sergeant Nimely’s threat of legal action that induced official Police action to have accused Colonel Cummeh report to Monrovia for investigation?
More importantly, why has it taken the Police so long to investigate an incident which occurred since April 4, 2021 especially a matter involving two Police officers?
Police officers are often accused of rights abuse by the public. On several occasions, Police have reportedly open fire with live ammunition on street protesters.
In some cases, Police have even been accused of raping female detainees under their charge. And for all this they have earned public condemnation and distrust.
However it must not be forgotten that Police officers are also first and foremost human beings and therefore deserve at all times to have their rights respected and protected.
This is a cardinal duty of the state, meaning it bears full responsibility should there be any derogation of the rights of any individual not sanctioned by law.
From what it appears, justice for Sergeant Nimely may be long coming or may not come at all.
Police Deputy Inspector, Marvin Sackor, it can be recalled, was flogged allegedly on the orders of Representative Acarous Gray. Absolutely nothing has since come out of it.
In this regard, public speculations that nothing may come out of this case involving female Police Sergeant Rebecca Nimely and Police Inspector Jacob Cummeh, cannot be dismissed as unfounded.
Whatever the case, there appears to be no reasonable justification for the undue delay in the investigation. In her own words Sergeant Nimely explains:
“The police authorities are now telling me to go back to Maryland and wait for three (3) months before my case can be heard, but I cannot go back without justice and do not feel safe working in Maryland anymore. The social stigma is too much and the shame is unbearable.
“Right now, I am broke and do not have transportation fare for this trip. I cannot understand on what grounds I am being asked to go when I have a case pending before them. Really, I’m confused and speechless on the whole matter and how this case is being handled by the Professional Standards Division of the Liberia National Police.”
Strong words indeed, but whether they will make any difference remains to be seen. But just where are the nation’s feminists in all this, and why are their voices not being heard, is the question being asked.
They made their voices heard in solidarity with Botoe Kanneh during her ordeal in Gbarpolu. To those who rallied around Botoe, a victory despite her ordeal marked a significant achievement. She is a political personality or a politically exposed person (PEP).
But unlike Botoe, Sergeant Rebecca Nimely is an ordinary Police officer a non-politically exposed person whose “lowly place”, perhaps, means she could be virtually ignored by the fashionistas who do not fail to command news headlines. We however remain resolute trusting that the true feminists will join the call for Justice now for Sergeant Rebecca Nimely.