HONOLULU (KHON2) — Annual police misconduct reports from all the counties have been submitted to the Hawaii State Legislature. There are some changes in the reports this year, however.
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The names of officers who were suspended or discharged last year are now in the reports following a new law passed legislative session. Only officers whose disciplinary cases are final are named.
Lawmakers say, the change will bring accountability.
“I mean Louis Kealoha and you know those cases in recent years, the prosecutor’s office … I think really just damaged the trust people had in law enforcement,” said Sen. Chris Lee, who represents Kailua, Waimanalo and Hawaii Kai.
“And hopefully providing this kind of transparency going forward, will not only provide that confidence that we do have good people working out there to protect us every day, but also that anyone who does violate that trust, ultimately will be held to account publicly.”Sen. Chris Lee, (D) Kailua, Waimanalo, Hawaii Kai
Some of the officers named in the Honolulu Police Department misconduct report include Bobby Nguyen and Niall Silva, who both played a role in the Kealoha mailbox theft case. Nguyen was sentenced to four and a half years and Silva was sentenced to nine months.
Also named in the report was John Rabago, who was sentenced to four years in prison last year for his part in a case where a homeless man was forced to lick a public urinal back in 2018.
State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) President Malcolm Lutu said, the union agrees with publishing the names of officers that committed a crime since that can be found in public court documents, but said other names should not be released.
“Now, you’re getting people that basically turned the reports in late and got suspended. That was stuff that’s taken care (of) administratively and their names are being released … The officer and their family (is) at risk.”Malcolm Lutu, SHOPO president
The Honolulu and Hawaii Police Department misconduct reports both name officers that were suspended for failing to file reports or failing to submit evidence on time.
Last year SHOPO filed lawsuits to block the publishing of officer names, but those failed. Lutu said, SHOPO will continue to reach out to lawmakers to see if they can make this change.
“We feel that you know officers are being singled out,” said Lutu. “There are other law enforcement agencies in the state, and they’re not held to this standard too.”
Lutu said, he is referring to other agencies with arresting powers like the sheriff’s office, Department of Land and Natural Resources’ enforcement division and the Attorney General’s office.
Other misconducts listed on the reports include officers engaging in sexual activity while on duty and submitting falsified information on reports for driving under the influence.
Below is the Kauai Police Department Disciplinary report for 2020: