Councilman Ikaika Anderson was the only one to oppose the vote, telling Civil Beat on Friday that he felt the officer was within his right to pull the trigger.
“I wasn’t comfortable that the city should be liable for the officer’s actions,” Anderson said. “I felt that the actions were warranted. It seemed to me that a reasonable person would come to the same conclusion that I would even if the matter went to court.”
In 2009, Honolulu police officer Keith Marini had just bought a cup of coffee at a 7-Eleven in Makaha when he was approached in his unmarked vehicle by Kiha Silva.
Marini, who had more than two decades of policing experience, was reportedly seated in his vehicle when the attack occurred and defended himself by shooting Silva with his personal firearm.
But a federal lawsuit filed in 2011 paints a much different portrait of what happened that day. The lawsuit says that Marini fired a bullet into Silva’s stomach and then shot him in the back as he tried to get away.
Specifically, the lawsuit says Marini fired at Silva, who was unarmed, while he was on the ground crawling away from the vehicle with a bullet-wound in his abdomen, and that the off-duty officer did not assist him afterward or call for an ambulance.
The lawsuit alleges that the city “white-washed” the incident despite the unnecessary use of force. Silva’s attorney, Paul V.K. Smith, of Schutter Dias & Smith, also blames the city for not disciplining Marini, who has since retired from the force.
Marini was not prosecuted for the incident, suggesting that HPD and the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office may have accepted the justification for the shooting or did not have enough evidence to proceed with a case.
The $150,000 settlement is the 11th approved by the Honolulu City Council in 2013.