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Following the public release of a surveillance video showing a Honolulu Police Department sergeant allegedly beating his girlfriend in a Waipahu restaurant, more than two dozen female political leaders are calling on HPD “to explain its policies and procedures for handling criminal actions involving its own officers and how the failure to act that occurred earlier this week is not repeated.”
The call comes from the 23 members of the Hawaii Women’s State Legislative Caucus, including Senate President Donna Mercado Kim, and the three women members of the Honolulu City Council, including Ann Kobayashi.
A press release this afternoon from the elected officials states, “According to reports, HPD officers responding to the scene did not arrest the sergeant, nor did they file any reports of the incident that night.
It was only on the following day, after a citizen provided HPD and the press with the surveillance video, that HPD took action to remove the sergeant of his police powers and begin an internal investigation into the incident, according to a Hawaii News Now report.”
In response, the women leaders are calling for a meeting with HPD’s chief and an informational briefing with HPD and the Police Commission.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that HPD officers chose not to enforce our domestic violence laws,” the officials said in a joint statement. “The fact that the woman denied the incident is to be expected under the circumstances. Indeed, the responding officers’ failure to take action clearly communicated that her safety will not be protected by them. If similar situations have occurred in the past, any victim of violence would deny it out of fear of retaliation.”
The statement added, “This incident sends a dark message to victims of domestic violence and all residents of Oahu, that members of HPD, who are supposed to serve and protect, may turn a blind eye to domestic violence or other criminal acts committed by of one of their officers.”
And this: “The integrity of HPD has been mired and trust has been lost. We demand public accountability.”
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