MAILI (KHON2) — In a town hall meeting held tonight in Maili, City Councilmember Andria Tupola, Honolulu Prosecutor Steve Alm and Honolulu Police Department Major Mike Lambert fielded questions and addressed concerns from the community, most of which pertained to gun violence.
The focal point of the night’s discussion was on combating illegal activities in drug houses and game rooms that are believed to have contributed to the recent uptick in violent crimes in the West Oahu community.
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Residents were frank in their discussions with some sharing their experiences of providing tips to federal agents about their family members involved in illegal activities. Heartbreakingly, one man spoke about his son who was recently a victim of gun violence.
Miguel Boswell, Sr. — whose 17-year-old son Miguel Agoo Jr. was shot and killed in Makaha last Sunday, May 21 — pleaded for action from the town hall participants to curb gun violence.
“I guess he was at the wrong place at the wrong time. Kids will be kids, but nobody expects a kid to be playing around with a gun. I want to convey to the news that it’s better to have one person feel like they are broken, hurt, and destroyed, than a whole state.” Boswell said.Miguel Boswell, Sr.
Miguel Sr. appealed for stricter laws against ghost guns and measures to keep guns out of children’s hands. This plea comes in the wake of a recent incident where a Kapolei middle school student was arrested for possessing a gun on campus last week.
He stressed the potential gravity of the situation saying, “What if somebody went into an elementary school and started killing kids? This whole state would be broken. We need to make tougher laws.”
Major Lambert emphasized the importance of providing detailed tips to HPD, including names, license plates, addresses and summaries of illegal activities.
“A very common charge for game rooms has been bumped up to a felony which means we can hold people more accountable,” Major Lambert said. “I gotta be honest most people as a misdemeanor they just eat that right it’s I’m making big bucks running a game room thousand dollar fine.”
Despite these assurances, some residents expressed frustration and claimed that despite providing tips, little has been done.
One concerned resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said, “I am tired. I have witnessed murder in the family, everything you can think of. I stand here as a mother to fight; and if that means turning in your family members, that’s what I did, because I’m tired of it.”
Wednesday night, members of an often-overlooked community were given the chance to make their voices heard.
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Miguel Sr. concluded, “Most people think ‘never mind these Waianae people’; but this is a shout-out to the Governor. We’re crying out for help — with our laws, with the kids, with the schools, with the gambling houses, with the drug dealers. Everywhere and in every way, we are pleading out to you.”