With an eye toward the recently renewed political interest in domestic violence sparked by a highly publicized incident within the ranks of the Honolulu Police Department, the Pod Squad invited two members of the Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus on the show to discuss what should be done to fix the policies and practices of the HPD’s handling of these cases.
State Sens. Laura Thielen and Rosalyn Baker joined podcast host Chad Blair and reporter Nick Grube, who has reported extensively on police misconduct, to explain how they plan to hold the HPD accountable for internal domestic abuse cases. They talked about whether the HPD’s training process is extensive enough, the disjointed disciplinary process, whether body cameras on police would help, and ultimately, how a lack of transparency leaves the lawmakers and the public in the dark about how these cases are handled.
The senators vowed to take action. “Domestic violence is an issue that cuts across racial, income, ethnic, and religious lines. And so there are a lot of people who have had experiences within their families, their friends, relatives, and they do take it very seriously. And I think it’s important for us to reach out to them and have their voices be heard,” said Thielen.
“I think the issue has been raised to the point that people are really starting to understand how pervasive it is,” added Baker. “Having had conversations with some of my male colleagues as well that they understand that it’s too pervasive in our communities and something needs to be done about it.”
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Mike Webb produces Civil Beat’s podcast every week.
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