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Police in fist-fight with ‘zogo’

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Drama unfolded in public glare on Tuesday, 8 November when an unidentified officer from the Police Support Unit of the Liberia National Police engaged a car loader in fist-fight in Duala Market, Bushrod Island after the latter allegedly ranted insults on the hierarchy of the LNP.

The PSU officer, who did not state his name, narrated that it all started when he arrived at Caldwell Junction, Bushrod Island and decided to board a taxi to bring him to town, continuing that while standing he saw a taxicab has a vacant seat in the front, so he decided to enter it car, but the car loader immediately intercepted him on grounds that the front seat had already by reserved for another passenger.

“As soon as I entered the car, the young man just started to insult me, saying no wonder why the music says police can steal, because even their bosses too can steal, something which prompts me to grab him by his shirt in order for him to tell me who the hell he was talking to”, the PSU officer narrates.

He told the crowd that had gathered to watch the fight that he knew the guy was a complete criminal, so he never had any problem with him, but the insult on the police was what got him angry, saying we all know these people from their appearance; you can easily tell that he’s a criminal, looking at the time we in now though we have freedom of speech, but such must not be done in the face of another by insulting; apart from being an officer, none of you here could take this.

“The police are not there to engage in fist-fight with citizens, because our mandate calls for the protection of properties, and to save lives as well. I am a law enforcement officer; I will not sit and watch these so-called criminals throw insults at our bosses, and the entire LNP. We will make sure they abide by the law of this country”, he vowed.

Meanwhile, Police investigators are interrogating five men arrested in Brewerville, Montserrado County for allegedly brutalizing an officerof the Liberian National Police while enforcing a 10 p.m. trafficban against motorcyclists on Sunday, 6 November.

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.

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 was attacked and his assigned police vehicle damaged.

Community Chairman Gowah is being held along with suspects Dennis Guson, Alex G. Kromah, Joseph Fayiah and Konah Armah. The police areclaiming that community chairman Gowah had ordered the attack against Officer Fayiah.

Spokesman Collins 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.

“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.

By Lewis S. Teh-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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