Liberia: Is Monrovia City Police Running a Wild, Wild West Operation?


The Editor,

Just what kind of operation does the Monrovia City Police run at its Central Monrovia detail on Ashmun Street is a question I keep asking myself.

About four days ago, a young man walked into Hott FM and stole my Tecno Camon 15 which was charging.

That phone was a prize from the Press Union of Liberia for winning its Human Rights reporter award.

Thankfully, he was picked up by our CCTV camera which is in strategic locations in the building.

Making a second attempt, he was caught yesterday and taken to the slammer of the Monrovia City Police detachment on Ashmun Street.

I was sitting on Miami Beach with my cousin, Alice Goodlin, and my friend, Arnold Arnold Anthony, when I received a call from my workmate on Friday that the criminal had been caught and remanded in the funky city jail on Ashmun Street.

Immediately, we made our way there where we saw the petite young man in handcuffs.

I identified myself as an employee of Hott FM and the owner of the phone which was stolen by the shabby young man who was handcuffed to the gate of the cell.

He was uncuffed and brought to the desk to give a statement, including his particulars, to the desk officer. He admitted to stealing the phone.

He was charged with theft of property.

When he was taken back to the cell, I was called to the desk to give a statement. Following that, I was asked by the desk officer, whose name I can’t recall, to pay an amount of LD$500 to register the case.

For a while I feigned perplexity, staring like a silly pumpkin in the wrinkled face of the officer old enough to be my father.

I wasn’t about to pay a dime when I know it isn’t/wasn’t right.

In that instant, my friend Arnold hollered from the back that no way in hell was that going to happen.

I got up and decided to leave. As I was leaving, I was asked to leave money to buy food to feed the man who stole. I paid no heed because I know that it’s the responsibility of the Monrovia City Corporation led by Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee to feed any and everyone within its captive.

Before leaving, I informed the officers that I would like to forward the case to court the next morning. And they acquiesced.

On Saturday, I went to the city jail downtown so we could make our way to West Point Court for the suspect to be arraigned for prosecution.

Not to my utmost surprise, I was informed that the suspect along with two others, according to a female officer, had broken jail.

Everything seemed so disorderly. Nobody seems to take orders from anyone or know who’s in charge.

Not satisfied with this answer, I queried a city police officer who seemed to wear a disgruntled countenance.

Asking him whether he heard about jail break at any of the depots in central Monrovia, he replied in the negative. If it happened, he said, it was certainly not where he is assigned and where the thief who stole my phone was remanded.

As it stands now, someone ordered the release of the thief. But who remains the lingering question. No hope of retrieving my phone because it has a treasure trove of documents relative to my investigative human rights work as a journalist.

And furthermore, no hope of me getting that man to be prosecuted so that it would deter others.

I am stressed. Disappointed. Disillusioned. Downhearted. Pure wild, wild west operation the city police is running.

Gboko Stewart,

News Curator 


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