Another Year, Same Damning Report: US State Dept. Report Requires Serious Attention
THE LIBERIA NATIONAL POLICE are once again on the front burner for all the wrong reasons. The U.S. State Department in its 2015 report on Liberia has raised the red flag — AGAIN — on the Liberia National Police.
“POLICE CORRUPTION WAS A PROBLEM. The LNP investigated reports of Police misconduct or corruption, and authorities suspended or dismissed several LNP officers. For example, in January Police authorities dismissed and referred to the judicial system for trial two Police officers for misappropriation of 2.9 million Liberian dollars (L$) ($33,000) entrusted to them for EVD control operations,” the US Human rights report disclosed.
THESE REPORTS ARE DAMNING — to say the least — and could erode the confidence the people have in the men in blue.
FROM BEING LABELED THE most corrupt Police force in the world by Transparency International, the LNP has never gotten it right with the citizens in post war Liberia. The Police are linked to criminality and everything unsavory.
AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS YEAR, senior Police officers were suspended following a confession from armed robbers that they were a part of a string of robberies in Monrovia and its environs.
AN INTERNAL INVESTIGATION CONDUCTED found the senior officers wanting. An enormous amount of public pressure on Police director Chris Massaquoi led him to suspend the officers who allegedly had close link to his office.
WHAT’S MINDBOGGLING IS THAT following these reports, the accused officers have never gotten a day in court to face justice. It’s been said that they have tacitly returned to their post in the force.
LAST YEAR, OFFICERS FOR THE weaponry department were suspended and turned over for investigation following the disappearance of key evidence to be used in a case of armed robbery.
TILL DATE, THE LNP HAS NOT produced a conclusive report in the case of Ballah Scott, an employee of the John F. Kennedy Hospital who disappeared mysteriously from the hospital he worked at and sought treatment when he went ill. Scott was found between the shrubs at the back of the hospital.
THE LNP HAS ALSO NOT PRODUCED a report on an update into the mysterious death of the former Managing Director of the Liberia Petroleum Refinery Company, Harry A. Greaves. Greaves’s body was found at the back of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, temporary office of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf.
LIKE GREAVES, THE LNP HAS ALSO failed to give a report on the mysterious death of Victoria Zayzay. Zayzay was found hanging a Police cell in Brewerville. No explanation has been given into the cause of her death. Even an autopsy conducted by the government has been disputed the government itself. So much that an incensed family of Ms. Zayzay grew weary of the never ending imbroglio into her death that they requested her body to be interred—never getting the closure they so desperately wanted from the government into the mysterious death of their daughter.
TRUTH BE TOLD, THE MEN IN BLUE have been a disgrace despite the millions splurged by donors to rise up the confidence level.
IT SEEMS AS IF EVERYTHING HAS GONE WRONG. When people lose confidence in the Police, they go amok, taking matter in their own hands.
WE SHOULD TAKE CUE FROM WHAT has happened in the U.S. Most African-American communities in at Uncle Sam’s house don’t trust the men in blue. Tensions are rising high and President Obama has called for Police reform.
WILL LIBERIA TAKE CUE FROM ITS STEPFATHER? There is still a need for more security sector reform.