Liberia’s Police Inspector General Col. Patrick Sudue says the Liberia National Police (LNP) will take responsibility for the medical bill of victim Helena Nimely, a day after the Kebbah Community riot victim cried out for help and accused police of allegedly abandoning her.
During a riot between police officers and residents following a motor accident in which a motorcycle operator and a passenger at Kebbah were hit and killed by a truck driver on Wednesday, 27 June in Barnersville, victim Helena says she sustained a gunshot wound and was being treated at the Trinity Healing Temple (THT) Hospital.
But she told reporters on Monday, 9 July that police authorities withdrew their help on grounds that she did not sustain bullet wound and offered to pay for the initial three days she stayed at the hospital, leaving the rest of the burden for the medical bill with her family.
But Col. Sudue on Tuesday, 10 July disputed reports that victim Helena was hit by a bullet, arguing that if she were hit in her neck by an AK – 47 bullet, it would have resulted to her death because “AK – 47 travels 350 meters per second.
“So in a close proximity for a projectile of [an] AK – 47 to hit that woman on the neck, well probably we would have been saying something different,” he argues.
Notwithstanding the debate whether there was lethal or non – lethal weapon used to wound victim Helena, Col. Sudue says he cannot sit to see a Liberian being victimized from a riot and shifts blame.
He says his primary objective is to see Helena recovers, announcing that he is reaching out to the family immediately “to ensure that we take care of her hospital bills and everything and to ensure that she be treated until she fully recovers.”
He says he is building a police force to leave a legacy for the LNP to follow and be the “people’s police.”
He notes that whenever the police engage people whether in riot or not and someone is wounded, the first thing the police should do is to ensure that the person is being cared for.
Earlier on Monday, 9 July, victim Helena Nimely cried out for further treatment, accusing the LNP of abandoning her and denying responsibility for the wound she sustained in her neck during a bloody riot in Barnersville last month.
“At first the doctor said that it was bullet wound, but everything turned around when 102 [Deputy Police Inspector General for Operations] went in the doctor’s office,” victim Helena told reporters in Monrovia Monday, 9 July.
According to her, when the incident took place, police went to the hospital that was treating her and allegedly assured the hospital that they were shouldering responsibility for the hospital bill.
But she lamented Monday that since the police visited the hospital the third day, they did not return there again, thus prompting the nurse there to stop treating her wound.
“Now I am still in pain, this is not an ordinary wound, it is a bullet wound. I have come to tell the international community that I need treatment. I am still sick and in serious pain in my neck and chest,” victim Helena explained.
Victim Helena said the doctor told her to leave because nobody was paying for her medication. “So I left because I was not attended to and also never had water to even take bath,” Helena lamented further.
By Winston W. Parley-Edited by Othello B. Garblah