For the second time in less than a week, Haiti’s police force was out on the streets protesting and demanding the release of an imprisoned officer and the reinstatement of another.

Several hundred police officers on motorcycles discharged their weapons into the air, vandalised a government building and set several vehicles on fire creating panic among residents of Port au Prince.

The protesting police are demanding the release of a police officer who was arrested a few months ago for disarming a presidential palace guard while the guard was on duty.

They are also calling for the reinstatement of the national police union spokesman whom they consider was arbitrarily dismissed.

The police in Port-Au-Prince have been holding protests demanding better pay and working conditions since the beginning of this year, prompting the government to offer raises and benefits, which some officers have rejected claiming it’s not enough.

Haiti’s police force has received extensive training and support from the United Nations, but officers complain that a months long stand off between President Jovenel Moïse and his opposition has strained resources to make already poor working conditions unbearable.

The protests come at a difficult time for the Haiti’s government which has had more than a year of street protests aimed at forcing Moïse’s resignation over corruption charges, along with the coronavirus pandemic putting pressure the country’s health system.

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