Friday, March 31, 2023

Police protesting violence against police officers in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINS ( Associated Press) — Dissident police officers rallied Thursday in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, blocking roads and firing shots in the air in protest against the mass killings of collaborators.

The gang killed at least 10 officers in the past week; Another is missing and another was seriously shot according to the Haitian National Police.

Video obtained by The Associated Press and acknowledged by police on Thursday, possibly recorded by gangs, shows the naked, bloodied bodies of six officers lying on the ground, their arms crossed over their chests. Police said the gang that killed them, known as the Gun Griffs, still has the bodies.

The killings are the latest example of rising violence in the Caribbean country, which has been wracked by civil war and political chaos since the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in 2021. His unelected successor has called for a UN-led military intervention. But no country is ready to step on the ground.

The deaths angered members of Phantom 509, an armed group of current and former police officers who have violently demanded better conditions for officers.

Dozens of these men toured the city on Thursday, many of them wearing skullcaps, police uniforms, bulletproof vests, rifles and automatic weapons. They seized buses to block roads and set tires on fire throughout the city, leaving a plume of smoke in the streets.

Many called for tougher crackdowns on gangs and an end to the current government of Ariel Henri, which many Haitians consider illegitimate. At one point, protesters broke down one of the doors outside Henry’s home.

A masked protester shouted into the Associated Press camera, “If they’re killing police officers as a civilian, what am I supposed to do?” “The police are second only to God and we are going to support them.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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