The Honolulu Police Commission again did not decide whether to grant two officers legal representation.

More than a year and a half after four police officers allegedly ran a car full of people off the road, the Honolulu Police Department is just about done with its investigation of the incident. But they still have one more interview to do, Deputy Chief Rade Vanic told the Honolulu Police Commission on Wednesday.

“It shouldn’t take that long,” he said. “We should be done fairly soon.”

The four officers were charged with felonies in March, 18 months after they alleged chased a car on the West Side until it crashed, injuring six people. The officers then allegedly returned to the scene and claimed they didn’t know what happened.

The most serious charge is a class B felony against Joshua Nahulu for “collisions involving death or serious bodily injury,” which can carry a maximum 10-year prison sentence.

Three other officers, Erik Smith, Jake Bartolome and Robert Lewis III, were charged with a class C felony for “hindering prosecution in the first degree,” which has a five-year maximum prison sentence. They also were charged with a misdemeanor for conspiring to hinder prosecution. The officers all pleaded not guilty.

Their trial is set for May 29.

, (L-R) Jake Ryan Bartolome, Robert Lewis III, Joshua Nahulu, Erik Smith

On May 3 the commission postponed deciding whether to grant taxpayer-funded legal representation for Bartolome and Smith until “the next meeting,” Wednesday.

The commission did not make a decision on Wednesday.

Instead, commission chair Doug Chin read a statement that the commission had “rearranged its agenda with respect to its responsibilities relating to requests for legal counsel for police officers.”

Officers now must establish that they are entitled to representation and commissioners “should examine the entire record to determine whether an officer is being prosecuted for acts done in the performance of the officers’ duty as a police officer,” Chin said.

That means commissioners may consider police reports and witness statements rather than simply criminal or civil complaints, he said. Commissioners can also take sworn testimony from other people besides the officer and examine internal investigations and other documents, he said.

“There will not be a decision before May 29,” Chin wrote in an email.

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