Police spokesman, assistant inspector general of police in charge of professional standards, Chris Charlie has said the Sierra Leone Police shall use force if they are pushed to the wall.
Explaining to Awoko yesterday at police headquarters about the PZ fracas on Sunday, involving supporters of the APC and SLPP, the AIG said they were policing a democratic state for which they started with soft approach but could not be taken for granted as they shall use force if pushed to the corner.
About the use of force, he explained that, “we manifested that on Sunday by expending some canisters of tear gas to disperse people on the verge of creating a riotous situation.”
When asked whether the SLP would use rubber bullets he said, “that depends on the assessment of the situation and our state of alertness and reaction depends on the public and if the situation is peaceful we will know how to do it and if it becomes very violent then we will know how to react.”
Continuing the spokesman said, “but I don’t want to say it flimsily that we will use rubber bullets or life bullets, we have been policing this country peacefully”.
Explaining what prompted the fracas on Sunday, the police spokesman said some people in SLPP colours were returning from a meeting when they were allegedly assaulted by some traders at Abacha Street.
He said that provoked the situation which resulted in some altercations that led the police to intervene.
The AIG said the police found out that the posters of both the APC and SLPP leaders were torn, and that bystanders identified four persons from both parties to have done the act.
The four suspects, he went on, were taken to the Central Police Station but were later released on bail.
Chris Charlie said they were planning to hold talks with the two parties this week reiterating cooperation and to make their situation very clear about law enforcement.