17 January 2014

Liberia: Police Face Mass Dismissal

Police authorities in Monrovia have announced plans to dismiss dozens of officers currently serving in the force if found guilty of "abandoning their posts at the commercial district of Redlight in Paynesville to extort money from marketers and drivers.

The officers who were rounded up in a swoop on Wednesday at the Redlight market are undergoing investigation before the Professional Standards Divison or PSD, of the LNP. Amongt the arrested officers are also impersonators. The officers who abandoned their assigned posts were accused harassing markters and drivers in the area.

Police spokesman Sam Collins told the New Dawn Newspaper on Thursday that of the 47 individuals arrested in Redlight on Wednesday, January 15, police will charge and sent to court those not actual police officers, but caught impersonating, while dismissals were awaiting officers found guilty.

In a special operation Wednesday, police authorities headed the various riot police units to include the Emergency Response Unit or ERU and Police Support Unit or PSU in the Red Light commercial district to raid several traffic officers allegedly mixed with impersonators.

Armed ERU officers backed PSU in the raid in which they arrested and whipped the non-assigned officers and their co-impersonators. Petite traders chanted anti-police slogans, referring to the arrested police officers as rouges and 'mafias', while being disgraced by their colleagues of the ERU and PSU.

Those arrested were immediately disrobed, cuffed and bundled in a bus and taken to Central police headquarters for investigation on Capitol Hill. The petite traders were seen booing the disgraced officers.

Police spokesman Sam Collins said the raid was part of the police efforts against misconduct within the police force. Some of the officers attempted fleeing the area, but caught and thrown in the bus.

Some marketers claimed that ghettos in the Red Light areas were allegedly sub-contracted by some police officers, thereby applauding the authorities for raiding the area.

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