LNP Officers Gamble Passengers’ Lives
By Bill E. Diggs
Three officers of the Liberian National Police (LNP) on Tuesday, May 05, 2009 hazardously arrested several motorcycles at J.J.Y, Somalia Drive, during the morning hours causing injury to at least one rider.
The officers (Sgt. Abraham V.K Kennedy, Inst. Harry Quei Williams the last identified as Henry) claimed that their action was a respond to an order issued form the “appropriate authority” that no commercial motorcycles should ply the main streets, rather they should go into communities to run and private riders should be properly dressed and ride alone.
The exercise was carried out with out any blockade to regulate the busy morning traffic which panicked many onlookers and passengers alike as one of the officers demonstrates his odd method of arrest.
The officer, identified as Inst. Harry Quei Williams, chief of Garage inspection, traffic section, often jumped riskily onto the road in front a speeding bike raising his metallic baton high above his head in an effort to stop the bike. If the bike was not stopping, whether it was carrying a passenger or not, he aimed his baton and threw it at the bike in order to obstruct the speeding bike’s wheel.
He further engaged a bike carrying passenger that tried to get pass him and caused it to topple injuring its rider on the lower left arm and making the passenger to almost lose breath.
Speaking with one rider, Fredrick Jomah, he said, he did not know whether the police was conducting such exercise because he had never heard it on air. He claimed that they were being treated unfairly in the traffic.
“We paid taxes to the Government, but the police are harassing us everyday in the traffic,” he stated.
Among the many arrested victims, Momo T. Johnson, worker at the Local Enterprise Assistance Program (LEAP), told the Daily Observer that he was pull over for carrying his workmate at his back; even though both of them was properly attire with helmets.
Speaking with the Deputy Commander for operation of Gardnerville and its depots, Sgt. Abraham V.K Kennedy, at the scene, he acknowledged that they were making sure that motorcyclists were abiding to traffic rules, no commercial motorcycle was plying the main streets and to ease the notion that “Gardnerville Police were not working”.
Meanwhile, a transport bus, license plate TB – 1862, was pulled over and made to refund L$10, half the transport fare from red-light to waterside, in less than 100 meter of the zone four police depot for allegedly hiking transport fare.
However, the driver, only identify as Chea, claimed that he was being lied on by the passengers and did not over charge any passenger.
“According to the government price” Mr. Chea said, “one mile beyond L$10 distance, you are to pay L$15. It is always the case with pick-and-drop; the drivers are not the ones who made the policy”.
He further said that it was only a lady who was pick up at Barnersville and drop off in the police vicinity had problem paying L$15. “All other passenger conspire (support) with this lady to get me in trouble”.
The passengers on board the bus said the driver was charging absorbingly and choose to struggle for another car rather than to ride with Mr. Chea.