Liberia: Family of Late Francis Mensah Craves Justice Minister Musa Dean to Ensure Accountability in Child’s Death
Monrovia – The family of the late Francis Mensah of West Point is demanding justice over his tragic and untimely death.
Report by Gerald C. Koinyeneh, [email protected]
Little Mensah, three, died of severe burn from hot water allegedly poured on him by a female police officer enforcing government’s lockdown order.
The officer alleged kicked a pot of boiling hot water on the toddler while he was entering his grandparents’ house in West Point in the evening hours on April 20, 2020.
He was rushed to the John F Kennedy Hospital in Monrovia where he died of the injury few days later.
Meanwhile, in a communication to Justice Minister Frank Musa Dean, the family through its lawyer, Finley Karngar said, since the death of little Mensah, the Liberia National Police (LNP) is yet to make available report of the investigation.
“Because of the unexpected/unexplained delay of the LNP to provide any information whatsoever on the status of the ongoing investigation, the family is requesting your assistance to ensure there is a report from the investigation,” Cllr. Karngar wrote Minister Dean on behalf of the victim’s family.
According to Cllr. Karngar, immediately after the incident and in the aftermath of Mensah’s demise, the family wrote the LNP, complaining the action of its officer but up to present, the police has not responded.
He said even though the family did not hear from the LNP, they again informed the police of little Mensah’s death on April 26, 2020 and requested permission to bury the corpse because it was fast decaying at the JFK’s mortuary.
The Victim’s Mother’s Accounts
“When she came, she said we should pack the things and get indoor; while packing the things, she kicked the water from the fire and everything wasted on Francis and he got burned. Her name is Sonnie Jallah and since that day, we have not seen her yet.”Mabel McGill, Mother of Three-Year-Old Deceased
In the wake of the incident on April 20, 2020, the victim’s 17-year-old mother, Mabel McGill told FrontPageAfrica that the toddler’s grandmother had bathed him and she [the mother] had gone inside to get clothes for him.
She said, within that time, the police officer came and asked them to go inside the house and while she was packing her things to enter the house, she kicked the pot with the boiling water which dumped on the lower parts of Mensah’s body, including his genitals.
“When she came, she said we should pack the things and get indoor; while packing the things, she kicked the water from the fire and everything wasted on Francis and he got burned. Her name is Sonnie Jallah and since that day, we have not seen her yet,” explained McGill.
She tearfully narrated that despite the family galvanizing resources to pay for her late son’s medical treatment, he died of the wound few days later.
Meanwhile, for the family and residents of West Point, little Mensah’s death is a reminiscence of the late Shaki Kamara’s incidence in August, 2014, at the height of another deadly disease outbreak, the Ebola epidemic.
Karmara, 16 was fatally shot in the leg by a member of the Armed Forces of Liberia (AFL) who were called up to assist the LNP in restraining residents of West Point from breaking quarantine. The incident sparked widespread condemnation amid series of protests.
Mensah’s family, through their lawyer is calling on the Attorney General to intervene to ensure justice is served.
“Knowing that the Ministry of Justice is the head for law enforcement in Liberia. To put differently, the family does not want the recurrence of little Shakie Kamara’s story,” Cllr. Karngar wrote.