Low Police Presence Impeding Justice, Public Safety in Bensonville
Bensonville – The death of a student in Bensonville on Tuesday sparked angry protest from residents who demanded the deployment of more police officers and effective traffic regulations in the city.
The protesters set up roadblocks during the morning hours of Tuesday, May 15 after the student was hit by a moving truck.
They have also frequently accused truck drivers of recklessness plying the road.
The protesters set the truck involved in the accident ablaze and set up roadblocks.
The death of the 22-year-old student identified as Washington Johnson is the latest death from a motor vehicle accident in the city.
Two other persons have recently died in a similar accident.
“This issue of drivers killing our children here must stop, we can’t continue to live like this,” John Cyrus, a schoolteacher told FrontPage Africa.
“The government must do something. All these accidents are happening because of the small number of police officers in the city of Bensonville.”
Cyrus said the police must put speed breakers on the main road because truck drivers are always taking advantage of the smaller cars, motorbikes and pedestrians.
“And I think if there was police checkpoint to monitor the various cars, especially the truck drivers, who are constantly violating, accidents like this would have been avoided,” he added.
Amongst the protesters were family members of the deceased, who expressed dismay over the untimely demise of their relative.
Musu Golatate, the mother of the deceased, called on the government to intervene.
“I am calling on the government to come to my aid because you as a mother you can’t see your son being killed by a government vehicle and they refuse to do anything about it,” she said, alleging that the low police presence in the area is the cause of the frequent accidents.
She, however, lauded the intervention of few police officers at the Bensonville police station who helped put the situation under control.
One motorcyclist, Richard Kollie, said the protest was violent because the government had often paid a deaf ear to their concerns about frequent accidents in the city.
“This whole accident and the burning of the truck happened because drivers who are normally involved in an accident like this always walk away freely,” he said.
“By burning the car will not bring our brother back, but at least it will serve as a warning for other drivers to drive carefully and for the police to be on top of issues next time.”
Moses Carter, LNP spokesman, told FPA that 18 persons were arrested in connection with the protest and the burning of the vehicle, and they are undergoing screening to establish their role in the violence.
Carter said the community was lawless by not seeking the intervention of law enforcement officers when the accident occurred.
He said the LNP is committed to ensuring traffic control in Bensonville, but will not condone lawlessness.
“If they choose to protest and violet other people’s rights, we will not hesitate to enforce the law,” Carter said.
Report by Jackson F. [email protected]/0770195412/0888132331