MONROVIA: Early Monday, November 23, 2020, Gardnerville junction along the Somalia Drive, in the Freeway area was a scene of pandemonium, tears and horror as several commercial motorcyclists angrily set ablaze a gigantic and commercial yellow bus known as “Killer Bean” following an accident that led to the terrible death of one commercial motorcyclist, name not given.
According to eyewitnesses, the deceased motorcyclist, prior to his death, stopped for a pedestrian to cross the road when the speeding bus ran into him, leading to his instant death.
The death of the motorcyclist generated angry reaction from his fellow motorcyclists some of whom accused the bus driver of being reckless, leading to the accident.
Eyewitnesses said, after the incident, the bus driver escaped the area for fear of reprisal.
After the burning of the bus, eyewitnesses said serious counter reactions ensued from some drivers of other yellow buses who began chasing motorcyclists with the aimed of burning or destroying their bikes.
The situation which lasted for hours also stalled normal economic activities along the Somalia Drive. Hundreds of people including marketers, students, among others were seen glancing at the lifeless body of the motorcyclist and the wreckage of the bus.
“Where are we heading as a country? Imagine everyone taking the laws into their own hands; I am in tears and frustrated over the violent mindset of our youthful generation,” declared a terrified woman, a mother of four. Eyewitnesses said the intervention of some officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) on the scene did not yield any positive fruit, as the police officers were few.
Moreover, several persons including motorcyclists and drivers of the yellow buses, styled: “Killer Beans” who were throwing stones and other missiles at each other, and other onlookers were injured.
Prior to the drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) on March 30, 2018, there were many peace-building campaign with programs with focus on addressing the increasing wave of mob violence and other acts of lawlessness in Liberia.
Moreover, since the end of Liberia’s bloody and back-to-back civil war that spanned a decade, mob violence has become a frequent occurrence with predominately suspected criminals being lynched and flogged to death by angry mobs.
Experts say the situation has been necessitated by the growing lack of public confidence in the Liberian’s justice system wherein many believe the poor are often denied justice in favor of the rich and the powerful.
The Liberian law says that any person accused of committing a crime is presumed ‘innocent until proven guilty’ in a court of competent jurisdiction and that an accused person is entitled to bail as a constitutional right, unless in capital offence.