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Friday, July 19, 2024

DEMANDS FOR JUSTICE RISE AS PROTESTS ERUPT OVER POLICE KILLING OF 17-YEAR-OLD

Date:

LIBERIA – On Wednesday, July 3, 2024, students in the Rehab community took to the streets to protest the untimely death of 17-year-old James Kandy. Kandy was shot and killed on July 1, 2024, by officers of the Police Support Unit (PSU) of the Liberia National Police (LNP).

The demonstrators, who included both students and local residents, demanded justice for Kandy. They called on government authorities to immediately investigate the PSU officers involved in the incident. Protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as “PSU officers, the boy you killed is a student” and “We want justice for Kandy.”

The tragic incident occurred when PSU officers, reportedly acting on the orders of businessman Mawolo Jallah, arrived in the community to arrest two individuals following a heated exchange. The individuals were in a nearby ghetto, and the PSU was there to execute the arrest. Eyewitnesses reported that after detaining the suspects, the PSU attempted to place them in Jallah’s car. Friends of the suspects objected, insisting that the suspects should not ride in the complainant’s vehicle. This led to a verbal altercation, during which the PSU officers began shooting. A bullet struck James Kandy, causing him to fall instantly. He later died from his injuries.

The boy’s mother, Mayama Kamara, along with her three other children, is now left to grapple with the sudden and heartbreaking loss.

In response to the incident, the Liberia National Police issued a statement on July 2, 2024. The statement confirmed that the LNP is investigating the circumstances surrounding the tragic death of James Kandy. According to the statement, preliminary information suggests that the LNP responded to a violent situation involving threats against a community resident by individuals suspected of drug trafficking. During the response, Officer Ismael Trawally discharged his firearm, leading to the unintended death of James Kandy.

The LNP emphasized that they are treating the matter with the utmost seriousness and have launched a comprehensive investigation. The police promised transparency and accountability throughout the process and pledged to provide updates to the public as necessary. The LNP also extended their deepest sympathies to the family and friends of James Kandy during this challenging period.

As the community mourns the loss of a young life, they continue to call for justice and accountability for those responsible.

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