Honolulu deputy chief Allan Nagata defended his officers who shot and killed South African rugby player Lindani Myeni on Wednesday> According to media reports, Honolulu Police Department (HPD) officials used lethal force when Myeni allegedly attacked them on Wednesday evening injured three of their officers shortly after 8 p.m.
HPD Police Chief Susan Ballard told local media that police responded to an “ongoing robbery” in a home in Nuuanu after Myeni walked in, and started chatting with the homeowners who were upset that he had come into the house.
However, Myeni was leaving the house and was outside near his car when the police answered and a few minutes later he was dead.
Now Myeni’s widow Lindsay and the family are demanding the complete 911 tapes and footage from the police cameras, which have been made available to the public Myeni family attorney James Bickerton told TimesLIVE that Honolulu police “are still hiding facts about the incident.”
He told Honolulu Police have used “magic lights” that are so bright that they may be blind to the person they are aimed at.
“The person in the beam can only see the light, while the police can see clearly. We see no evidence that Lindani knew the men who threatened him were cops, “said Bickerton.
” They only announced the police after they shot him. Right now we insist on the full release of all footage of any kind, “he said.
He said that they neither heard the 911 tapes nor saw the body camera footage that” preceded what they have released “
He said the police had also taken Myeni’s phone as evidence.
On Saturday, Honolulu police released body cameras of two of the three police officers who responded to a call Burglary responded in the Hawaiian suburb.
The footage from the perspective of an officer arriving at the scene shows him near a house where a woman on her porch is screaming in desperation that a man is in Car steals
When the officer turns the corner with his gun drawn and his flashlight switched on, the video shows Myeni talking to a man Nagata calls a “second officer”.
He screams in Myeni to get to the ground, however Nagata admitted that the officer did not announce that he was a police officer.
Myeni then launches an attack on the officer.
A third officer then comes and announces that he will use a taser on Myeni, but the weapon does not seem to have any effect on him.
“It was ineffective and the suspect is starting to attack the third officer. The suspect then attacks the first officer, who then fires a single shot at the suspect, “Nagata said during a press conference broadcast on Hawaii News Now.
” The suspect then grabs the first officer He then slaps him in the face and on the head several times, causing him to pass out briefly, “he said.
” The second officer then shoots the suspect three rounds, “Nagata said.
“The footage occurs at night and the lighting is limited. It takes place in the front yard and in the driveway, where several vehicles are parked. The officers answered a call from a distraught woman who reported an unknown man in her home, “said Nagata.
” The footage you will see is from two of the three officers who answered. One of the officers did not activate his camera until after the shooting. We hope that the footage we have taken will help us understand what happened two nights ago, “he said.
” The investigation into this incident is ongoing. Once it’s done, it will be reviewed by the prosecution and the state law enforcement review board, “he said.
Nagata admitted that the officers did not identify, but added,” Hey, let’s be honest , you. “They are in uniform and they come there in police cars. They told him to get on the ground and stick to it. “
But Bickerton said the police haven’t released any other important information and the burden is on them to” come in “for shooting an unarmed man.
” But from what we have seen we know some things. Despite HPD’s claim that there was no racial problem here, Lindani didn’t even get the chance to hear the required words, “This is the police,” “said Bickerton.
” He got aggressive and from the start disrespected the beginning, although the tape shows he stood still. The officers’ failure to identify themselves as police is incomprehensible, “said Bickerton.
” It was a moonless night and the tapes show a man with a flashlight in his face while a woman shouted, “That is he “. Lindani could probably only see lights and hear a woman screaming at the men holding the lights and a gun, “he said.
” When you point a flashlight and gun in someone’s eyes and tell them You should get in. On the ground, the person cannot see you, but will know that you are not the police and that his life is in danger because the shooter does not say “police”. Fight or flight are inevitable. If Lindani chose to fight, that’s HPD’s fault, “Bickerton said.
But Nagata said the officers fought for their lives and, given the circumstances, they” did very well ” .
“You fought for your life, let me be clear with you. And as a result of that, they did very well, they were very brave, they fought for their lives. I was very impressed with what they did. They didn’t fire or fire their gun immediately, this was not a case of overreaction, “he said.
” As an officer with almost 30 years of experience, I was scared when I saw what I’m glad that they survived, “said Nagata.
” They have their radio, they wear uniform, even though it’s dark, it’s pretty clear, “he said / p>
He said the officers would have replied to an ongoing break-in with a man in the house and a distraught caller, adding, “I would have done the same and I recommend you what you did it for. “
” As we have all seen, she was very hectic, she was out of control and we could feel her horror, “said Nagata.
Nagata said one of the officers who did were attacked by Myeni, were in hospital recovering from some “serious injuries.”
Bickerton said they were working on bringing Myeni’s body back to SA.
“The autopsy was done But completed reports from medical examiners in Honolulu can take up to three months to be completed. The body will be released to a local morgue by the medical examiner on Monday and is expected to be flown home to SA later that week, ”he said of support from friends, extended families and the community in South Africa as well as here, for which the family is very grateful, but as you can imagine it was extremely painful for Lindsay (Myeni’s wife) despite this support, ”said Bickerton.