A police officer identified Edward Kollie has attacked Reporter Edwin Genoway of the New Dawn Newspaper, inflicting bruises on his body. Genoway was attacked on Sunday evening February 12, 2012, while performing his reportorial duties at the ELWA Junction in Paynesville, outside Monrovia.
He narrated that while on his way to cover a Lonestar Cell MTN function along the RIA highway, he was hinted by some taxi drivers and motorcyclists that Officer Edward Kollie had collected keys of several commercial vehicle drivers and motorcyclists in demand of money.
Our reporter was also hinted that Officer Kollie and some of his colleagues at the ELWA Junction have a duplicate of the police traffic ticket booklet, which they allegedly use to intimidate drivers, who fall prey to them.
Upon hearing these allegations from the drivers and motorcyclists, our reporter attempted taking the photograph of officer Kollie, while in the process of taking the key of a driver.
However, Genoway said when Kollie noticed that he was about to be photographed, he immediately rushed on him in anger and slapped the camera from his hand, demanding for the photograph to be deleted from the camera.
Narrating further, Genoway said Kollie forced him out of the vehicle and ordered some of his colleagues to arrest him. Our reporter said, he immediately identified himself as an employee of the New Dawn, but after the police saw his ID card, Kollie’s colleagues, who he had told to arrest the reporter instead decided to resolve the issue.
However, Officer Kollie could not listen to his colleagues’ advice as he kept attacking our reporter, insisting that his photograph be deleted from the camera.
“I don’t want to know who you are my brother, but you will delete that particular picture from the camera before you leave. Let me tell you, I have stood in big, big cases before; go Central and asked for Officer Edward Kollie, they will tell you about me; I stood in the [former] deputy speaker Togba Mulbah case so I am not afraid of anything,” he boasted.
Genoway said while knocking his chest, Kollie threatened to deal with him if the story is published by this paper.
He said the officer’s indiscipline behavior was carried out in the presence of the editor for the InProfile Daily Newspaper Fredrick Gaye, who also had bitter verbal exchanges with the police officers before he [Genoway] was released.
Former Press Union of Liberia Assistant Secretary General Julius Kanaba, later arrived on the scene and intervened to resolve the matter. Mr. Kanaba told police officers at the ELWA Junction that as public figures, they could be photographed anytime by journalists, which should never be considered an offense.
Reporter Genoway is still in pains, while the management of the New Dawn has promised to appropriately pursue the issue.