Six Police Officers Fate in Limbo

Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Col. Patrick Sudue.

-- As autopsy delays

The fate of six police officers of the Ganta police detachment, Nimba County, remains in limbo as police authorities delay releasing the autopsy report relating to the death of a detainee who died in the cell of the Ganta police station.

The six officers, including the station commander and two deputies, were all suspended by their bosses in Monrovia. However, since May, when the incident took place, the police have yet to release the autopsy report, leaving the public to raise lots of questions.

“Why is it taking too long for the police to release this one autopsy report? We are still listening to know how this man actually died, whether it was the officers or other reason, let the police pathology tell us,” said a police officer, who requested not to be named.

“Our friends are languishing around, doing nothing as it is better they tell the facts, so they can know their status,” another officer said.

But, since May, the absence of the officers from active duty has created a vacuum in the police force in Ganta and its environs, although the Ministry of Justice, in August, conducted an autopsy on the remains of Joe Kolleh, a Guinean national. The Ministry of Justice at the time promised to release the report within two weeks but has not done so yet.

Joe’s death led to public speculation that he might have been brutalized by the officers of the Liberia National Police, especially those who apprehended him, which subsequently led to his death in the cell. Upon his death, the LNP immediately suspended the commander of the Ganta Police detachment and two of his deputies along with six officers who were on shift at the time of the incident until the investigation is completed.

Even though these men are still receiving their salaries, residents of Ganta are concerned about the incident which, many believe, if left inconclusive, will lead to more. There is speculation that perhaps the results of the investigation might not be in favor of the police -- a possible reason for why it is taking too long for the police to release the report and appropriately process the six officers.

Meanwhile, Police spokesman Moses Carter’s phone rang perpetually without any response, when contacted. He also did not respond to questions sent via text message.