On Wednesday, Honolulu Police Commissioner Loretta Sheehan pressed acting HPD Police Chief Cary Okimoto for answers after a media report that Cachola had another run-in with the law in an incident involving his wife. He was not arrested.
Sheehan, who is a former prosecutor, said the latest incident again raises concerns about how HPD responds to reports of domestic violence.
Although Okimoto refused to discuss the matter publicly during a Wednesday Police Commission meeting, Sheehan told Civil Beat on Thursday she is hopeful the public will get answers soon.
“Here we have more evidence of violence against women and yet another instance of tepid response from the Honolulu Police Department,” Sheehan said. “And I want to know why that keeps happening. I want to know why.”
Department officials have refused to divulge much information about Cachola’s most recent encounter with HPD officers.
In a statement, the department acknowledged that it responded to a domestic argument in Ewa involving a former officer and that no arrests were made.
The department also refused to release any reports related to the incident, saying that the investigation was pending.
Hawaii News Now reported that it obtained a copy of one officer’s police report that stated Cachola was told to leave his home for 48 hours. That officer’s report also noted that Cachola’s wife had “redness around her neck.”
Sheehan said she’s particularly concerned about Cachola getting his job back.
Cachola has appealed his discharge to a third-party arbitrator, as provided for in the police union contract. That arbitrator’s decision will be binding.
“The chief of police found that he should be fired due to his previous actions,” Sheehan said. “I don’t see why an arbitrator would reverse that decision. I just don’t see it.”
Equally as concerning, she said, is the department’s own investigation of Cachola.
“If there was new evidence of potential wrongdoing I’m disturbed that the police department wouldn’t develop that evidence,” Sheehan said. “This is another example of a failed investigation.”
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