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Alleged criminal dispatched to death

Jacob N.B. Parley/ Jos Garneo Cephas Sr.
  Mobbed to Death in Monrovia  street
Mobbed to Death in Monrovia street

MONROVIA, LIBERIA - As if nearly 14 years of civil war in Liberia did not inflict the needed wounds on the entire citizenry, mob violence, like a wounded lion is nowadays  on the rampage, afflicting more pains on Liberians.

An investigation by the Liberia Broadcasting System reveals that most perpetrators of violence in the Liberian society are the youth.

A case in point is the Friday, November 4, 2016 incident in the Samuel Kanyan Doe Community, Bushrod Island, Monrovia, where a man believed to be a notorious criminal landed into the hands of an angry group of youth. I was told that upon eyeing the man, reportedly caught in a make-shift structure making away with some cooking utensils, the angry mob, made predominately of young people wasted no time in descending on him.

An elderly  private security man who had set out on the road during the early morning hours  of the incident said  the alleged criminal made attempts to escape but was subdued in no time  considering the vigor with which he was pursued by the group.

Residents of the densely populated  community, named after slain Liberian leader, Samuel Kanyan Doe, on that fateful day woke up to the astonishing news of one of their neighbors being mobbed to death on allegations of being a rogue.

The man was apparently hit with hard objects, including machetes, as his body looked. The body of the man was laying in a pool of blood, with a stick inserted in his head.

The incident sparked uncontrollable wailing, especially amongst women; who are globally known for being tireless caregivers.

The moment I pulled out my microphone, some of the youth, holding stones in their hands came closer to me and started chanting a Liberian phraseology, “Ninety days for rogue, one day for master.”

But as soon as I asked that they be formally interviewed, there was a draw back from the microphone, apparently for the fear of being implicated or arrested, especially as sound from a running police vehicle was fast approaching the scene of the incident.

However, some residents of the area, speaking on the basis anonymity said the  Samuel Kanyan Doe Community, had earlier been beset with several sleepless nights of harassment, allegedly by criminals. They said the harassment had reached an alarming proportion that some concerned young people decided to help protect the area against the criminals.

“The only problem some of us have with them (youth) is that they should have turned the criminal over to the police instead of killing him,” said an elderly woman, as tears rolled down her cheek.

Before I could leave the scene, a youth of the area claimed that on several occasions when people who are believed to be criminals are arrested by community members and turned over to government, they are treated with dignity, fed with good food and allowed to sleep under an air condition while the victims live in anguish.

Such allegations were buttressed by another youth, this time a motorcyclist who declared; “We the victims can’t be going through pains and looking for food to eat when the government is feeding the criminals with good food, so we will deal with them anytime we catch them.”

The Liberia National Police continues to warn the public against people taking the law into their own hands. Religious institutions across Liberia and other advocacy-based organizations also continue to speak against mob violence.

Observers believe that bringing mob violence to an end requires  considerable volume of emphasis and consistent awareness at all levels,  especially in a society where some people, mainly the youth are yet to understand that   an individual is  presumed innocent until proven guilty  through  the due process.

The Chairman of the Doe Community Development Association, Johnson Clarke, sometime ago called on residents of the area, mainly parents and guardians to help educate their children about the danger mob actions pose to Liberia’s quest to sustain the peace.


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