It’s been a tense two weeks for four Honolulu police officers now under investigation by the FBI.
“They’re feeling they’ve been treated unfairly. What happened was, they were served with ROPA papers, which is restriction of police authority, but not given a reason as to why they were being ROPA-ed,” explained attorney Megan Kau, who is representing one of the accused officers.
Days after the Honolulu Police Department started looking into what Chief Susan Ballard called rumors that the officers made a man lick a public urinal, Ballard turned the information over to the FBI.
“It’s not illegal. She’s allowed to do it, but it’s not appropriate. Police officers get accused of things all the time,” Kau said.
Kau has represented several HPD officers in the past, and says officers accused of misconduct typically go through a thorough internal investigation first.
Then, if need be, it’s turned over to the federal authorities.
“While I do believe the public has the right to know what’s going on with the police department, this is a mere accusation. They haven’t been found guilty. They haven’t administratively been punished,” Kau said. “By announcing it, Chief Ballard jumped the gun. I’ve never seen it done before.”
The chief said the rumors were appalling and violate the core values of HPD.
The officers are at risk of losing their jobs, but Kau says her client does not know the specific allegations he’s facing.
She says the officer she’s representing was never interviewed by the police department’s internal investigators, and still hasn’t been interviewed by the feds.
“It’s completely unfair. No one wants to be accused of something without being given any details,” Kau said. “To be accused of something and not be given the details, it’s infuriating.”