The officers can still appeal and go to arbitration.

Honolulu police officers facing criminal charges over an alleged chase in Makaha that resulted in serious injuries to civilians should be fired.

That’s the recommendation from a review board made up of assistant and deputy chiefs.

Three of the four officers charged have been on restricted duty for nearly two years.

With the internal investigation complete, Honolulu Police Chief Joe Logan will determine whether to accept the recommendation or reject it.

Retired Deputy Chief John McCarthy said Logan has the authority to hand down everything from “a written reprimand all the way up to and including termination and discharge.”

Officer Joshua Nahulu is charged with the most serious crime in connection with the horrific crash: Collision involving death or serious bodily injury. Officers Erik Smith, Jake Bartolome and Robert Lewis III are charged with hindering prosecution and conspiracy to hinder prosecution.

The charges stem from an alleged chase and crash in Makaha in September 2021.

A trial for the officers is set for Aug. 4.

Attorney Megan Kau, who is not affiliated with the case, said it’s common for the criminal and administrative cases to be going forward at the same time.

“You can be terminated even if the criminal case hasn’t started yet, even if you’re presumed innocent,” Kau said, adding the administrative case just deals with policy violations.

Six people were injured in the crash.

The officers are accused of leaving the scene and returning after the 911 calls were made.

Body camera videos obtained by Hawaii News Now show the officers were responding to a call for loud music at Maili Beach Park.

Witnesses and other videos, including video from a city bus, showed the officers were close behind a white sedan that later crashed, as it headed westbound on Farrington Highway.

If the police chief agrees to fire the officers, they can still appeal and go to arbitration. The full process can take months.

Attorney Michael Stern represented some of the victims in a civil lawsuit with the city that settled for $4.5 million. He said that his clients “are waiting for them to actually be fired. But of course, even if they’re fired, they can appeal and they can get their jobs back.”

Two more civil lawsuits are pending.

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