A clash ensued yesterday between officers of the Liberia National Police (LNP) and street vendors at the corner of Randall and Broad Streets. The incident happened when the police tried to remove vendors from the streets.

The street vendors began throwing stones at the police, thus leading to damaging of some stores. Speaking to reporters on the scene, Deputy Police Director for Operations, Abraham B. Kromah, said the LNP gave the street vendors prior notice to leave the streets, but they refused to do so. He said the police have arrested some of the vendors that threw stones at them during the exercise.

Director Kromah made it clear those arrested will be investigated and prosecuted. He said that if found guilty they would be dealt with in accordance with law. He said it was unconstitutional for the street vendors to throw stones at the police when the officers were performing their mandate.  

Director Kromah disclosed that store owners wrote the police on several occasions complaining that the presence of street vendors in front of their stores was embarrassing.   At the same time, the Chairlady of the street vendors, Comfort T. Donyen, has expressed regrets over the situation, and noted that it was strange for the LNP and street vendors to clash.

Madam Donyen said the leaderships of the street vendors and police have been holding series of meetings in a bid to find a way forward regarding the removal of vendors from the streets.  She, however, indicated that the police should have exercised patience in handling the situation due to the fact that the two institutions have been meeting to resolve the issue.  

Also, the owner of the L.R. and Sons store on Randall Street, Sam Anandani, described the situation as very regrettable.

 According to Mr. Anandani, they are often embarrassed by the presence of the street vendors when they go to open their stores in the morning.

He said they cannot have easy access to their customers due to the presence of the street vendors in front of their stores.

He alleged that over US$600.00 dollars worth of materials was destroyed by the street vendors during the clash.