HONOLULU (KHON2) — After two failed attempts, Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm says he will not file any more charges against the three HPD officers involved in the shooting death of a teenaged suspect. Alm adds that his office still has a good working relationship with HPD.
Judge William Domingo ruled that there was no probable cause in the shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap in the preliminary hearing of officers Geoffrey Thom, Zackary Ah Nee and Christopher Fredeluces on Wednesday, Aug. 18.
Alm says he still does not agree with the judge’s ruling. But at this point, the court has spoken and he does not plan to pursue any more charges either through an appeal or by going to another grand jury.
“I think at this stage we’ve done what we should do,” said Alm. “We’ve done our due diligence reviews with what’s available. We thought it was important enough. It was a killing, and police officers have a tremendous amount of discretion.”
Hundreds of people, many of them police officers disagreed with Alm’s decision to charge the officers. They rallied outside the courthouse during the preliminary hearing.
“A number of officers have come up to me and said this has nothing to do with what we’re doing,” said Alm. “This isn’t high school. This is serious stuff. But you guys got to do your job. We got to do ours.”
The prosecutors office filed murder and attempted murder charges against Geoffrey Thom, Zackary Ah Nee, and Christopher Fredeluces after a grand jury declined to do so. It was an unusual move that drew criticism from those who supported the officers.
Alm adds that those who were supporting the officers had not seen the evidence, and he still believes that the shooting was not justified.
“The fact that there were supporters out there before they saw the evidence shows they’re supporting their friends or colleagues,” said Alm. “They don’t want to think they did anything wrong,”
The defense attorneys sent statements.
“We are disappointed that they continue to blame the Grand Jury and Judge Domingo for the office’s inaccurate belief that probable cause ever existed,” said Crystal Glendon, attorney for Fredeluces.
“The belated claims that the process was somehow unfair rings hollow and unfairly besmirches our judicial system,” said Sing, attorney for Geoffrey Thom.
“It was disappointing to hear him misrepresent facts, and disparage a good judge,” said Tommy Otake, attorney for Ah Nee. “Nevertheless, we commend him for not pursuing this further.”
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The Sykap family attorney is moving forward with a civil suit against the City.