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The Irony of Rampant Police Brutality in Sierra Leone

The Irony of Rampant Police Brutality in Sierra Leone

The Sierra Leone Police is constitutionally responsible for maintaining law and order and protecting the lives and properties of the citizens and even the foreigners in this country. But ironically, police officers are now the very ones engaged in flagrant lawlessness, stabbing and shooting people here and there.

On Monday, April 8, a police officer, Joseph Jonathan Decker, stabbed a poor carpenter, Jonathan Isaac Lamin Kamara who subsequently died. Very recently in Kenema, desperate police officers raided the Drivers Union office and brutalized executive members of the union, injuring one Mohamed Baio. Sometime ago, police officers opened fire on protesters at Bumbuna resulting in injuries and death. In Kono, police officers rained bullets on protesters killing some people. Under the administration of Inspector-General of police, Francis Munu, instances of police brutality abound, a situation which has prompted me to question the so-called professionalism of the SLP.

It is a very big irony to see police officers destroying the same lives they are supposed to protect. It is also very ironical to see police officers perpetrating lawlessness when they are supposed to be maintaining law and order. The rampant police brutality tends to render fruitless the efforts of all those individuals and institutions that contributed to the restructuring of the SLP. Moreover, all the resources being expended on the training and re-training of the SLP seem to be wasted by the frequent and blatant lawlessness displayed by some members of the force.

I agree that many of our police officers have been manifesting maximum professionalism but the notorious fact remains that some have been exhibiting overt unprofessionalism, thereby blemishing the national and international image of the entire force. The unprofessionalism of few police officers bears the potential to tarnish the reputation of the whole SLP.

Therefore, IG Munu must try to weed out those police officers whose manifested unprofessionalism is damaging the hard won reputation of the SLP, otherwise, he will end up bearing the blame.

By Joseph Milton Lebbie

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