Hawaii News Now and reporter Lynn Kawano have a story on the death of HPD officer Kyle Suemori, a 42-year-old cop who shot himself on April 13. Suemori’s colleagues on the force believe his supervisor, who is not named, may have contributed to the officer’s death by bullying him. The supervisor has been reassigned and an internal affairs investigation is underway.
Kawano and the station treat this difficult but important story carefully — including interviewing a number of professionals who are very thoughtful about the situation. But it still is causing a stir among police supporters who, according to the amazingly nasty comments, think it was bad form to air the piece before the funeral if at all.
Police work is not for the faint-hearted and it takes a special person to do it. We should all be grateful for the men and women who are capable and willing to put their lives on the line for the rest of us.
But it also comes at a high price and higher rates of all sorts of things — divorce, alcoholism, domestic violence, even suicide — are an occupational hazard.
HNN and Kawano should be applauded for shining a light on what may be going on inside HPD, a very secretive operation compared to most departments in the country.
And a community discussion of the very real problems police officers face is a good way for HPD to build some much-needed bridges with the community they need as much as we need them.
HNN reporter Lynn Kawano telling the story of an HPD officer’s suicide and whether a tough supervisor contributed to it.
Hawaii News Now
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Patti Epler is the Editor and General Manager of Civil Beat. She's been a reporter and editor for more than 30 years, primarily in Hawaii, Alaska, Washington and Arizona. You can follow her on twitter at @PattiEpler, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 808-377-0561.