Criminal Court-‘A’ at the Temple of Justice on Capitol Hill in Monrovia yesterday ordered Deputy Police Director for Operations Al Karlay to release with immediate effect a cement truck impounded recently on his orders following his appearance. The truck, carrying license plate number TT-168, was released to its operator yesterday in adherence to the Court’s mandate to the Deputy Police Chief, after it had been arrested, investigated and cleared of any violations by Assistant Police Commissioner Victor Gboyah.
Judge Zotaa’s decision to order the truck released yesterday was on the basis of the outcome of Commissioner Gboyah;s investigation and clearance of no violations of the law. On October 1, 2010, the Judge of Criminal Court ‘A’, James W. Zotaa summoned the Deputy Director of Police for Operations to explain his role in the impoundment of the cement truck. But Deputy Director Karlay chose to defy the summon against him by Criminal Court ‘A’ on two occasions until his late appearance on Monday, October 13 before Judge Zota, only after he had been persuaded to do so.
Like anyone would, Karlay attributed his delay and ignorance of the Court’s citation to the failure of his immediate boss, Colonel Marc Amblard of the Liberia National Police. Again, what remain to be heard is the actual facts from the Director of Police, even though the case has been disposed of by the Court.
The most troubling about the foregoing is the fact that a law enforcement officer would choose to defy justice.
He must understand that it is through his behavior and those of other high ranking officers that the men and women of the Liberia National Police will exhibit the highest degree of responsibility in discharging their duties on the field. Whether or not Karlay’s decision to ignore Criminal Court ‘A’ was heavily influenced as we have seen in past administration, we think as a trained cop who worked in the United States, he should have exercised some level of professionalism by adhering to the rule of law.
As Deputy Police Chief, we had actually thought that Al Karlay would have done himself a favor and respect by submitting to due process just as he would have had ordinary citizens of Liberia caught in violation of laws adhere to the jurisdiction of the Liberia National Police. Such action, we believe, would have afforded him an opportunity to attract the admiration and respect as a senior law enforcement officer of Liberia. But as he behaved, we see a very serious image problem for him and the police in the minds of ordinary Liberians. Law enforcers must live by examples because as they lead, others follow.