A family in Monrovia’s slum community of West Point has been ordered to face criminal investigation regarding its three – year – old kid Francis Mensah’s death after hot water burnt the victim when his grandparents were fleeing from police’s verbal command, ordering residents to leave the streets under coronavirus lockdown measure.
In an administrative report released by the Professional Standard Division (PSD) of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Friday, 5 June, the police officials exonerated their female officer Patrolwoman SonnieJallah of accusation that she kicked a coal pot with hot water which burnt little Mensah on 20 April, leading to his death.
“That Patrolman SonnieJallah who is accused on social media (facebook) by one Wen Sailey is exonerated from said allegation in that, this investigation did not establish anything that links her to the allegation,” Police Spokesman Moses Carter read the report to journalists Friday in the midst of PSD officers.
At the conclusion of its report, the PSD recommends that the LNP’s Crime Services Department (CSD) should launch an immediate investigation into the circumstances surrounding the cause of the hot water burning victim Mensah.
During the CSD’s investigation, the PSD recommends further that Mr. George C. Davis, a resident of West Point who wrote the police to complain about the incident as well as Mensah’s Grandmother Satta McGill and Richard G. Singbeh be subjects to the investigation. According to the PSD, these individuals were on the scene when the incident occurred, and also the testimony of Cpl. ZachelineDugbe linked them to the crime.
According to Officer VarmuyanKamaram, Deputy Commissioner of Police for PSD, they did administrative investigation, not criminal investigation [as the CSD may do]. He explains that when PSD received the complaint, they requested the listing of all the officers that were assigned to West Point on the day of the incident, but the accused female officer could not be linked.
The police say the identity of Patrolman SonnieJallah was as a result of a social media (facebook) post by a Liberian based in the US identified as Wen Sailey, who alleged that Officer Jallah was the one that carried out the act, but they did not establish how he got to know that.
For his part, Police Spokesman Carter says the complainant was not descriptive of the female officer. Carter says on 22 April, the LNP received a letter of complaint from Mr. Davis, alleging that on 20 April, at about 7:15 PM, an unidentified female officer on enforcement of the State of Emergency in the Township of West Point allegedly kicked a coal pot with hot water which burnt little Mensah.
Upon receipt of the complaint, Carter says all officers who went to West Point to enforce the State of Emergency were immediately invited, turned over to the PSD for investigation. He says the investigation gathered that Officer Sonnie Jallah was a member of the PSU Team that responded in West Point on 20 April. He details that one of Officer Jallah’s team mates, CplZacheline Dugbe narrated that while on their enforcement assignment, her colleague Officer Jallah began to warn the residents to leave the streets.
In the process, Cpl. Dugbe explains that she noticed Mensah being held by a man she thought to be the grandfather of the victim on his lap. CplDugbeg furthered that upon hearing this warning or command, the man allegedly pushed little Mensah to his Grandmother, but the Grandmother was not attentive, leading the child to fall under a table where a coal pot was. The police say it resulted to the hot water splashing on the child.
According to the PSD, its investigation found it impossible how the hot water did not splash on Mr. Davis, given his demonstration as to his position with the child when he alleged a female officer kicked the pot of hot boiling water which was under the table. By Winston W. Parley