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Liberia news

Court officer Claims ERU Brutality

A Sheriff at Criminal Court “A” at the Temple of Justice has complained Officer Musa S. Kamara of the Emergency Response Unit or ERU of the Liberia National Police to Resident Criminal Court “A” Judge Roosevelt Z. Willie, alleging to have suffered brutality at the hands of the ERU Officer.

In a communication dated 21 September, Officer Kiadii claimed that he was pepper-sprayed by Officer Kamara, knocked down on the pave street and held by his shirt and forced on Officer Kamara’s motorbike to be jailed at the police headquarters, following alleged verbal encounters.

“That on Wednesday, September 21, 2016, I was beaten and manhandled, and sprayed in my eyes with an anti riot (Pepper) spray by the said Police Officer Musa S. Kamara (ID#4514) in the front yard of the Temple of Justice, while on the Court’s operation from Nimba County, with the whereabouts of my report and personal items unknown,” he claimed. During an interview with the NewDawn newspaper at Court “A” Sheriff Office, Complainant Kiadii claimed that he encountered ERU officer Kamara around the Monrovia City Hall, while returning from implementing a court order in Sanniquellie, Nimba County.

Officer Kiadii said the encounter began when the car in which he was riding swiftly secured a space in traffic ahead of the ERU Office who was riding on motorbike in a huge traffic around the City Hall. He said the ERU officer ordered the taxi cab to pull over on grounds that the taxi driver wanted to hit him (ERU officer).

While the taxi driver was beat the traffic, complainant Kiadii claimed that Officer Kamara immediately got down from his motorbike and allegedly opened one of the doors, ordering the driver to get down. He claimed that the ERU officer stood in front the car, but after the driver allegedly complained about the bad condition of the spot, the ERU officer ordered him to pack opposite the UNMIL Headquarters, following which he moved some three steps away before the driver could pack.

Upon packing, complainant Kiadii said he and other commuters in the vehicle began telling the ERU officer that they did nothing to him, saying it was at such juncture that the ERU officer opened the door, held him (KIadii) by his shirt and allegedly called some plain clothes officers, before allegedly pepper spraying him (Kiadii).

Complainant Kiadii said he had informed Officer Kamara that he was a court officer working with Criminal Court “A” as a sheriff, but the ERU officer allegedly ignored it and but called his colleagues to knock him down on the ground.

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He said an UNMIL Human Rights personnel immediately intervene, but by then, he (Kiadii) had already lost his US$80.00, while his shoes were damaged; he allegedly lost his phone and other belongings.

While complaining on his eyes due to the alleged pepper spray, complainant Kiadii claimed that the ERU officer forced him on his motorbike to take him to the Liberia National Police Headquarters to jail him. Upon arrival, especially at the entrance of police headquarters just before the Temple of Justice, according to him, Officer Kiadii said he jumped off the bike and fled towards the premises of the court to draw  the attention of his coworkers.

When the issue reached the Police’s Professional Standard Division or PSD, Kiadii claimed that the commandant only told the ERU officer to return on Monday with his alleged missing money, treat him and repair his shoe – an order Kiadii has since rejected.

He denied ever attacking the ERU officer to have prompted such treatment against him. The Police Press and Public Affairs Office said it could not comment because it had not received the case; while the PSD also preferred the Public Affairs to make comments when the two offices were contacted on the matter on Wednesday, 21 September.

By Winston W. Parley

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