HONOLULU – Following the public release of a surveillance video showing a Honolulu Police Department (HPD) sergeant allegedly brutally beating his girlfriend in a Waipahu restaurant, the Hawaii Women's State Legislative Caucus and the three women members of the Honolulu City Council are calling on HPD to explain its policies and procedures for handling criminal actions involving its own officers and how the failure to act that occurred earlier this week is not repeated.
According to reports, HPD officers responding to the scene did not arrest the sergeant, nor did they file any reports of the incident that night. It was only on the following day, after a citizen provided HPD and the press with the surveillance video, that HPD took action to remove the sergeant of his police powers and begin an internal investigation into the incident, according to a Hawaii News Now report.
The Joint Women’s Legislative Caucus and City Council members released the following statement:
"We are calling for a meeting with the Chief of Police, followed by an informational briefing with the Honolulu Police Department and Police Commission. The public has a right to know the department’s policies and procedures for response to domestic violence or any other crimes when the offender is a police officer, particularly one who serves in a supervisory role.
"HPD officials must explain to the public why the alleged assailant was not charged and arrested given evidence of probable cause, including multiple witnesses who had to come to the woman's aide and a video surveillance depicting the appalling domestic violence assault.
"It is absolutely unacceptable that HPD officers chose not to enforce our domestic violence laws. The fact that the woman denied the incident is to be expected under the circumstances. Indeed, the responding officers’ failure to take action clearly communicated that her safety will not be protected by them. If similar situations have occurred in the past, any victim of violence would deny it out of fear of retaliation.
"This incident sends a dark message to victims of domestic violence and all residents of Oahu, that members of HPD, who are supposed to serve and protect, may turn a blind eye to domestic violence or other criminal acts committed by of one of their officers.
"The integrity of HPD has been mired and trust has been lost. We demand public accountability."
Members of the Hawaii Women’s State Legislative Caucus are: