Police Warn Public Not to Take Matters into their own Hands

File photo. Deputy Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo. 📷 Loreta Kelemete, SGN.

9 August 2021 Apia Samoa. Samoa Police have warned members of the public to not take matters into their own hands following a series of violent videos being circulated showing gangs of people beating up on youth.

Youth and adults gang beating a young man who remains on the ground trying to cover his face as he is repeatedly assaulted by these youth shown here and two more, while elderly men and women watch.
This photo shows the location of this crime against a young man being beaten. Let’s hope Police get to the bottom of this one.

In one video taken at Moataa village, a group of adults including elderly men and women are seen standing around while four youth take turns smashing their fists repeatedly into the face of a helpless youth who is heard crying out and pleading his innocence.

Police Notice issued Wednesday 9 August confirming they have 4 suspects in custody.

The incidents of violence which have affected innocent youth from Motootua relate back to a viral video of four young men seen beating up on two youth. The video shows an unconscious youth who could be dentified as being from the village of Laulii.

The viral video shows one victim’s head being smashed into the cement ground while another youth kicks him and another jumps onto his stomach.

At the end of the video, it can be seen that the location is across from Sefo’s funeral parlor, with the Motootua hospital gates clearly visible. This led most to believe the perpetrators were from Motootua.

However, Samoa Police Commissioner Auapaau Logoitino Filipo told SGN the four youth arrested and charged are from Leufisa and NOT Motootua.

“They have been charged with aggravated robbery and grevious bodily harm.”

“One is 19, the other is 20 and another is 21,” said Auapaau of the youth in custody.

In the meantime, members of the public have taken matters into their hands with youth from Motootua being randomly targeted by villagers and those related to the two men originally beaten.

Several young men from Motootua who are innocent of the incident were randomly targeted and beaten at the Savalalo market as they came off the Motootua bus.

Others suspected to be connected with the four in custody were also beaten by groups of people on Wednesday.

Police on Wednesday night issued a statement reminding the community that Samoa Police takes these matters seriously, warnig the public that criminal activity will not be tolerated.

“We are investigating and taking appropriate actions to ensure the safety of our people, including the arrest and charging of these perpetrators.”

Samoa Police also call on Village Councils of Matai to help ensure peace is maintained amongst village youth.

“Importantly we appreciate the usual assistance of Alii ma Faipule in reporting these incidents..”