LIBERIA: LNP Disrobes Four Officers Linked To Kingsville Shooting
(LINA) – The Liberia National Police (LNP) has disrobed four officers who are said to have discharged firearms assigned to them during the recent Kingsville protest which reportedly resulted to the injuries and subsequent death of one person.
“The accused officers include Inspector Morris Dahn, Patrolmen Thompson Pobleh and Josephus M. Lewis as well as Sergeant Emmanuel S. Melikamue are being appropriately disrobed, interdicted with 2/3 salary payment in accordance with the LNP Act of 2015,” a police report said.
According to the LNP, the four officers have been turned over to the Crime Services Department for criminal investigation for discharging their firearms illegally thereby resulting to serious bodily injuries of three persons identified as Saah Saah, Dave Mombo and Abraham Tomay, who later died while undergoing treatment at the hospital.
On June 24, 2019, the report stated that some aggrieved residents of Kingsville Township, Montserrado County staged a protest by setting up roadblocks, thereby obstructing the free flow of human and vehicular traffic due to the alleged delay in the police investigation regarding the mysterious deaths of two children of the area.
The Police report, however, stated that upon receipt of information relating to the protest the authority of the LNP dispatched officers to the scene to negotiate with the rioters to have the roadblocks removed, an effort which proved futile.
“As the negotiation failed and the Police Support Unit (PSU) attempted to remove the roadblocks through riot control tactics, the rioters started throwing stones at which time there was shooting by police officers,” the report stated.
Two of the officers, Inspector Morris Dahn of the PSU and Sergeant Gbornima Barmabia sustained head and leg injuries during the incident.
“As the result of the escalation of the violence, the Team Leader, Inspector Vincent C. Abban who served as the driver of the team got in the assigned vehicle, avoided supervision of his officers, and drove away from the concentrated area without prior notice to his officers. The team was left unsupervised which led to the unauthorized discharged of firearms,” according to the report
Abban has been dismissed from the Liberia National Police for breach of the Police Duty Manual Chapters 184.108.40.206 and the Police Support Unit Standard Operating Procedures and New Organizational Structural Chapter 5.3, leading to poor supervision that resulted to some of the officers under his supervision discharging their firearms consequentially leading to the death of one and injury of two persons, the report stated.
The report also indicated that Commissioner Walter B. Gray, Head of Operations of the PSU, has been suspended for one month with appropriate salary cut for failure to follow through the PSU team of operation when he had earlier ordered the use of tear gas to remove the roadblocks.
DCP Godfrey K. Kollie has also been suspended for two months with appropriate salary cut for his failure to designate someone in the chain of command to act in his absence and his failure to submit an incident report through the chain of command.
He is also culpable for failure to comply with the request of the investigation to produce written report within 12 hours after the occurrence of the incident as stated in the PSU Standard Operating Procedures.