Home Politics Two Killed In Kinjor Protest… Police Boss Admits, But …

Two Killed In Kinjor Protest… Police Boss Admits, But …

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MONROVIA: The Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP), Gregory O. W. Coleman, has admitted to, and confirmed the discharged of live bullets by officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) in the long-standing protests against the operations of commercial gold mining company, Bea Mountain Mining Corporation (BMMC).

Addressing a major press conference Saturday March 2, 2024, at the LNP headquarters in Monrovia, Mr. Coleman said, the police discharged live bullets which resulted to the dead of two persons.

” Yes, the LNP did discharge live round on the scene. Live round was discharged. If you look at the video released, the police exercised maximum restraint, they didn’t reach to the point of using live round until there was a threat, danger feared by the officers before reaching that point,” the LNP Boss told reporters.

According to him, officers were on the line crying after they have used all the non-lethal weapons, and he placed phone calls to the Senator and leaders of the county, appealing to them to talk to the protesters to back-off, because the officers were out of non-lethal weapons.

But, their leaders failed to communicate with them and so the police discharged live bullets after the protesters became arrogant by burning down police station and engaging into other violence acts.

The LNP Inspector General narrated that it was at this point the police officers discharged live bullets and used whatever they had.

He indicated that, wounds on the two victims are consistent with the weapons and ammunition that police officers were given, which indicated that the round could be of police officers who are involved into the Kinjor issues.

Mr. Coleman disclosed that for the officers who are involved in the shooting, a team had been set-up, an investigation is ongoing. According to the Police Chief, transparency comes and starts from within.

” We have asked the Association of Liberian Law Enforcement Professionals in the United States to also take a second review of our use of force in this incident as it relates to the death of two of our citizens. However, when that is concluded, we will be releasing it to the public. We will be very opened and transparent about it,” he assured.

He restated that it is evidenced that fire arms were discharged and anyone can go to JFK and see the wounds on the bodies and even get the medical death reports that can be released, which justified such.

Mr. Coleman pointed out that just as he is honest about the use of firearms and the wounds on the bodies, also, there are protesters in the video footage who had single barrel guns and one person was seen recharging with rounds.

” The actual number of death in Kinjor, Grand Cape Mount County, is three but two of those three are associated with the riot, while the others one is between two members from the community when the other stabbed his friend. That person is in police custody. We are investigating the policy in the use of force,” IG Coleman stated.

Asked who the LNP officers got instructions from before discharging live bullets, he responded that, the police officers don’t need order to discharge live bullets if their lives are being threatened.

” Before officers are given firearms, they are trained on the usage. They are also drilled on the use of force policy. They don’t need to call someone before discharging live bullets because they are trained to that at which point, they should. They are trained to proportionality of force,” he asserted.

According to IG Coleman, twenty three persons, three females, and twenty males have been arrested who are undergoing investigation by the LNP at its headquarters in Monrovia.

He also noted that the nine police officers who were wounded, seven had been released while two are still undergoing treatments at the John F. Kennedy center.

Mr. Coleman noted that they have released video footages from the Grand Cape Mount and Caldwell scenes for the public to help with information also.

Meanwhile, IG Coleman assured that the situation in Grand Cape Mount County, Kinjor, order has been restored by the LNP and there is a sense of calm, but the LNP is still observing the situation.

According to him, there are others issues in the community that they are still concerned about between different community members. Contributor: Elbie Sebleh

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