Trigger-happy Police Officer Kiidor Should Be Brought to Justice

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A most unfortunate and tragic incident occurred at the Paynesville Red-Light commercial district Sunday night, when police commander Roosevelt Dehmie Kiidor fatally shot an unarmed motorcyclist, Beyan Lamin, as he allegedly resisted arrest.

Liberian police officers have long been appealing for arms to combat the criminal behavior of many, especially in the crime-infested commercial districts, most particularly Red-Light, in Paynesville, as well as Water Side and Duala.  In order to help empower the police in fighting crime in these and other dangerous areas, the government relented and equipped some police officers with firearms and ammunition.

But this was not meant to cause police officers and other paramilitary personnel to become trigger-happy to the extent of injuring and even killing innocent citizens and residents.

When motorcyclist Beyan Lamin, fearing arrest by police Commander Kiido, decided to flee the scene, it was, yes, unfortunate; but that did not give the commander the right to kill him.  In their story published in yesterday’s edition of the Daily Observer, Reporters Alvin Worzi and William Harmon said Lamin’s only offense was apparently that he was riding his bike beyond the regulated time of 10 p.m.

When bystanders suggested that Commander Kiidor seize Lamin’s bike, which would have forced him to report later to the police depot to answer questions and probably pay a fine to retrieve his bike, the commander refused.  Fearing arrest, Lamin fled, at which point the police commander became trigger-happy.  And instead of pursing Lamin on foot to stop him from fleeing, Commander Kiidor recklessly used his weapon and fatally shot Lamin.

We call on new Police Inspector General Patrick Sudue to take immediate and decisive action against Commander Kiidor by stripping him of his title, arresting and handing him over to the Justice Ministry for prosecution on the most appropriate charge. We do not know whether this could be considered a case of manslaughter or murder; but surely a most appropriate charge should be brought against him, as a deterrent to prevent trigger-happy police behavior in any and all circumstances.

Our police officers must learn to treat citizens and residents with respect and exercise restraint at all times in their interaction with the people.  Our police should realize that they are serving in a new regime, that prides itself in operating a “pro-poor” agenda.  This demands that all government functionaries, whether police, tax collectors, soldiers or any other law enforcement personnel, should treat the people with respect and deference and exercise great caution and restraint in the execution of their duties.

Motorcyclists are plying the streets to serve the poor, and these include students and other people who cannot afford their own motor vehicles to get them to hospitals or clinics, to school, to work, or to attend any other kinds of errands.  The motorcyclists are not part of the wealthy class in our society; far from it, they are struggling to make a living while rendering a vital service just like the rest of the underprivileged in society.  They, therefore, deserve respect from the rest of us, most especially our law enforcement officers.

Our motorcyclists have come a long way and are striving not to be as reckless as they used to be, and we all should appreciate that.  The police surely deserve much of the credit for this.  At the same time, the police must at all times maintain their self-respect by conducting themselves lawfully, with integrity and with the demeanor in which they are regarded by the public as friends, not enemies of the people.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Guawon Siasia May 1, 2018 at 7:16 pm
    My sincere sympathy and condolences go the victim and his family. It never should had ended this way. This should serve as a lesson for both law enforcement officers and the public they are serving.
    While I am in sympathy with the victim and his family, I also want to say that people should not be resisting arrests. This may sound insensitive but we should never be resisting arrest.

    First, most police officers in Liberia are operating in a force where they have no access to many essentials including police cruisers to transport people who have committed crimes. The officer arrested Lamin; how were they going to get to the Police Depot when he the officer commanded Lamin to follow him to the Depot? Did the Officer handcuffed Lamin or yet did he call for back up when Lamin tend to resist arrest? Police using handcuffs for people who have committed crimes serve as protection for both arrested persons and the police officers.

    Second,the police used poor judgement to shoot an unarmed man on his back because police are only allowed to use deadly force when their lives are in danger. In this case according to both scenarios of the stories, the police didn’t have to shoot. On the other hand, Lamin too was resisting arrest and in fact, his sister even admitted that he (Lamim) ran or was running away from the police. Two wrongs cannot make right. If the police was being violent while arresting Lamin, it was the right thing he (Lamin) did by asking his sister to video tape the arrest so it could be used as evidence against the police. Yes, the police could’ve taken the motorbike to the police depot that would had caused Lamin to go to the police station and pay a fine if there was any and get his bike back; but what if it was more to it than the bike for which Lamin did not want to be arrested and taken to the police station? I do not know Lamin but I am just saying.

    I will say this; no amount of protests, penalties for police commander Roosevelt Dehmie Kiidor or monetary compensation to Lamin’s family will bring him back to life. The right thing Lamin supposed to have done was to follow the direction of police commander Roosevelt Dehmie Kiidor. Remember Roosevelt Dehmie Kiidor is not the judge. He was only an arresting officer.

    Police here in the US kill people everyday for simple things. Examples are mistakenly thinking that the victim’s cellphone was a gun, choking a victim for selling loose cigarettes and etc. What more about resisting arrest or running away from the police. They may use more than one bullets.

  2. Thank you Siasia for your advise and ‘no thank you’.

    Let me tell you that being law abiding is no guarantee that such an incident wouldn’t happened with the current police force and their unprofessional bosses. I will tell you for free that the current police boss is no different the officer who killed this poor man. I am aware of a situation involving the so-call police boss (Patrick Sudue) who abused his professional discretion just to defend the police as he is now doing to this poor guy and his family. So, Mr. Siasia, I am sorry to say that these people need to have a neutral autonomous board of ethics to first disrobe those unprofessional bosses in the police force that give instructions, aid and abide in unwholesome acts.

    Trust me, Patrick Sudue, is good at blaming the victim than protecting the public. They will fix stories to suit their defence and destroy evidence to protect their public image. I know this guy and you will come to realize it – just watch. And when they are caught right-handed, they will apologize publicly to create the impression that it was a mistake. It is their modus operandi.

    Unfortunately we are in for the long haul.

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