Liberia: Complaint against Police Commander Forwarded to Professional Standards

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Monrovia — The complaint against the commander of the Zone-6 Police detachment, Tarnue Kerkula by Henry J. Chesson of Brewerville has been forwarded to the Professional Standards Division of the Liberia National Police, says Police spokesman, H. Moses Carter.

“His complaint has been forwarded to the Professional Standards Division,” he said. The police spokesman said the outcome of the investigation will be known in thirty days.

He added that the Police will send its team on the field to speak with eyewitnesses to authenticate the veracity of the claims against the commander of the Brewerville Police detachment.

The statement from the Police Spokesman comes in the wake of an open letter written to the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police by Henry J. Chesson.

Chesson, a native resident of Brewerville, in his open letter complained that he was assaulted and robbed of his belongings by men of the Brewerville Police detachment led by Tarnue Kerkula while on his way home to prepare for work.

Kerkula is commander of the Zone-6 Police detachment in Brewerville.

“During the evening hours (9:00 p.m.) of December 10, 2021, while heading home via the Brisbane Road to prepare for work at the National Port Authority, a slew of officers of the Liberia National Police led by the commander – who is also known as CO-6 – ordered the bike—of which I was a passenger and was moving at a light speed—to stop,” he wrote.

“The motorbike rider, fearing that his bike would be impounded, accelerated at a high speed, going against my wishes that he should stop for the Police. During the acceleration, I overheard the Commander of the Zone-6 Police detachment threatening to shoot if the bike didn’t come to a halt.”

Chesson mentioned that though he pleaded with rider of the bike to halt, his request fell on deaf ears. “And since he was on a speed so terrific, I could not coerce him to bring the bike to a halt, neither could I have tried to be a superhero as it would have meant the loss of my life or caused an injury which I would never have made a full recovery.”

Eventually, he added, the bike came to a stop when it hit a tree stump and the rider fled. “However, I stood with hands raised as I knew I had committed no crime and did not see the need to flee as it would have meant resistance of arrest and proof of guilt which would have damaged further my innocence.”

When the Police arrived on the scene, he said, they began to rob and assault him.

“While I was being assaulted under the watchful eyes and command of CO-6 Tarnue Kerkula, I was also robbed of my belongings by officers of the Liberia National Police – which included, a chain on my neck, an Android phone, my wallet which held an amount of US$20.00 plus my bank cards, national ID card, my working id card, and access pass and some business documents, a Bose headphone, and my power bank.”

He revealed that he shouted at the top of his lungs that he was innocent and didn’t know what was ongoing at the time. “…I kept shouting that I was innocent, a working and businessman with no criminal record in any database in the bailiwick of the Republic, and in my wallet, they would find my identity and other documents to authenticate the veracity of my claims.”

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