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Editorial: When the Police are found wanting

Editorial: The Liberia National Police (LNP) currently seems to currently has its acts upside down, significantly losing public trust in its duty to fight crimes and protect lives and property, principally due to lack of will to execute.

The Police under the leadership of Director Patrick Sudue have suspended several senior officers for sheer complacency or the manner in which they handled the July 26, Independence Day protest that left several students of the University of Liberia seriously wounded.

Authorities of the LNP did not take action until a week after the bloody violence and six days after President George Manneh Weah officially addressed the nation via a pre-recorded speech broadcast on State radio. A Day after, the International Community (Britain, United States, United Nations and the European Union) issued a joint statement, calling for a thorough investigation of the incident.

Subsequently, the Police made few arrests that were said to be ringleaders of a ruling party group (CDC-Council of Patriots) that brutally attacked protesting students on July 26, wounding several of them, one of which was taken out of the country for advanced medical attention because of the severity of injuries sustained.

The bloody violence was live-streamed, but the Police had initially said they had no information to carry on arrest; rather, they asked the public, including the wounded, to come out and make formal complaints in what was clearly lack of political will to apply the law.

Now with nationwide condemnations and international pressure, the Police have suspended several officers in a face-saving move.

When a key public institution such as the Police, which is constitutionally charged with the responsibility to serve and protect, deliberately ignores or abandons its duty for whatever reasons, the public is left vulnerable and lawlessness takes center stage, as was witnessed on July 26, Independence Day.

The Police under Col. Patrick Sudue are found wanting. They have erected a very thin line between partisanship and professional service, with little presence in public.

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Family members of the late 25-year-old Princess Cooper, who was discovered dead on March 24, 2022, in a fence behind the FAWAZ Building Construction Company at ELWA Junction, Paynesville, in a pool of blood are still crying for justice mainly because of the Police handling of the suspicious death.

They lament how could they get justice when their late daughter’s lifeless body was left on a crime scene by an unknown person(s) and the Police could not provide any explanation or protect the scene after the incident, but allow businesses to operate just few hours after they body was discovered.

The Police under Director Patrick Sudue need to muster political will to serve all members of the Liberian populace if they should regain eroded public trust, as the force citizens and foreign residents can rely on for safety, justice and peace. Anything short of this could be nothing else, but wolves in sheep’s clothes.

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