Maryland Police Commander Suspended for Flogging Junior Officer

MONROVIA, Montserrado – The Liberia National Police has suspended the police commander in Maryland after he was accused of flogging a female officer at the Harper headquarters.

Col. Jacob Cummeh has now been recalled to Monrovia and is being investigated by the Professional Standards Division, the unit within the police that investigates ethical breaches by officers.

The victim, Officer Rebecca Nimely, spoke to The Bush Chicken via phone from Harper, where she detailed how the incident occurred. She explained that on March 30, after she and other officers returned from a regular police patrol at the Prolo International Custom Border, she saw her landlord at the Harper police station looking disheveled with his shirt in one hand.

When she asked her landlord what was wrong, her supervisor, Cummeh, chastised her for interfering with his duties. Nimely then said she asked her boss what duties she was obstructing, a question that triggered Cummeh to start beating Nimely.

Despite efforts by other officers to intervene and stop Cummeh, Nimely said her commander “would not hear anybody until he [taught] me a lesson.”

The beating resulted in severe wounds to Nimely, and her face appeared severely swollen after the encounter.

Nimely said she is still undergoing treatment at the J.J. Dossen Memorial Referral Hospital in Harper but has been advised by doctors to travel to Nimba to receive further treatment for her wounded eye.

Although she had not had any major incident with her boss before this incident, Nimely described Cummeh as a power-hungry commander who frequently threatened to dismiss his subordinates without reason.

“He normally suspends officers for weeks or days without any justifiable reason since he took over as commander from Mr. David Walker two years running now,” she said.

Four other officers who would only speak to The Bush Chicken anonymously to avoid retaliation confirmed Cummeh’s erratic behavior.

“The solution to this problem is to take Col. Jacob Cummeh from Maryland as well as from the police in totality,” one officer said. “Such a person should not be a law enforcer – his action is far from what we were taught at the Police Training Academy.”

Meanwhile, Cummeh told The Bush Chicken that he had been instructed to avoid speaking to the press until the investigation is conducted into the matter.

In Monrovia, police spokesperson Moses Carter confirmed that Cummeh had been “disrobed” following a complaint filed by the Professional Standards Division in Maryland.

He further disclosed that both Cummeh and Nimely had been called to Monrovia for investigation since the Professional Standards Division in Maryland had been reporting to Cummeh.

“We can assure the public, right groups, and the victim that following the investigation by our officers at the Professional Standards Division in Monrovia, all findings and recommendations will be fully implemented to the letter by the inspector general of police,” Carter said.

Nimely is hoping that Cummeh’s behavior is fully investigated and that he is dismissed from the police and prevented from working within the security sector.

Featured photo courtesy of Bryan Dioh Jr

George Momo

George K. Momo is also a correspondent of Liberia Broadcasting System and manager of Cape Rock Radio. He serves as acting president of the Maryland Press Association and the secretary-general of the South Eastern Journalist Association of Liberia. He is the Press Union of Liberia 2018 Human Rights Reporter award winner. George started his journalism career in Kakata at Atlantic Radio; he has over eight years working experience in community radio journalism. George is also a senior student of William V.S. Tubman University College of Education majoring in Early Childhood Education.

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