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Police claim “civilians brutality”

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Police investigators are interrogating five men arrested inBrewerville, Montserrado County over claims of brutalizing an officerof the Liberian National Police or LNP while enforcing 10 p.m. trafficban against motorcyclists here on Sunday, 6 November.

Police claim

The arrested men, including their community chairman – Mr. AugustineK. Gowah, Sr., are being held at the LNP Headquarters on Capitol Hillwhere Police Spokesman DCP Sam Collins said statements are being extracted from them.

The suspects were not allowed to be interviewed, but some could beheard in the rear denying their involvement in the alleged attackagainst Sgt. Goff T. Fayiah, who is claimed to be the victim in the case.

Mr. Collins told journalists on Monday, 7 November that Officer Fayiahwas enforcing the ban against movement of motorcycles from 10 pm inthe night when he got attacked and his assigned police vehicle damaged.

Community Chairman Gowah is being held along with suspects DennisGuson, Alex G. Kromah, Joseph Fayiah and KonahArmah. The police areclaiming that community chairman Gowah had ordered the attack againstOfficer Fayiah, overpowered him and damaged the police vehicle.

According to Mr. Collins, the condition of the attacked officerremains stable, and statements have been extracted from himsurrounding the incident. The Police Spokesman said the suspects will remain in police custodyto undergo a thorough and painstaking investigation, while a searchfor others who may have played a role in the alleged attack was stillongoing.

Mr. Collins said the damaged vehicle is one of those purchased underthe UNMIL trust fund in an effort to enhance police visibility anddeter crimes as UN Peacekeepers hand security over to Liberian authorities.

“And to have community members mobilizing and fighting a policeofficer and damaging the police car is troubling. It sends a wrongsignal and the police will continue to engage them in a very positivedirection in the communities to make them to understand that the workof the police is in their interest – it’s not against them,” he said.

He noted that in the midst of UNMIL drawdown, it was troubling to haveLiberian citizens who should be celebrating the taking over securityby national security apparatus to be engaging officers in a face fight and damaging government property.

“We do like to inform the public that the LNP will not tolerate anyattack on any of our officers or any property belonging to the LiberiaNational Police or any citizen – peaceful citizen,” he warned.

Mr. Collins, however, said where the investigation establishes thatthe suspects did no wrong, police will have no reason to hold them,but they would be charged and sent to court if appropriate.

He said the police will respond robustly in the case of any attackagainst officers in the police and other national security agencies. Press statement  

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