Honolulu Police Commission Chair weighs in on bodycam footage of the aftermath of deadly crash

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The head of the Honolulu Police Commission says she doesn’t believe there’s a cover-up by the department. This after seeing the videos we first showed you Wednesday night of the moments before and after a deadly crash in Kakaako in January that killed three pedestrians.

We’ve obtained police bodycam video that shows some of the moments after the tragic crash. In this clip, we hear two officers going over what happened before the crash.

Voice 1: “At no time was there any pursuit or whatever when you turn lights…my lights were not on, strobe lights were not on. You know how they’re going to look for that.”
Voice 2: “Yeah, that’s why I said they’re going…that’s why I said they’re going to try to get me on this one because if there’s video and stuff.”

The same officer also spoke to another colleague.

Voice 2: “The only reason why I gotta get back to you…you were far away? You were attempting to locate right?”
Voice 1: “Yeah.”
Voice 2: “Because witnesses said you went this way okay so I’m going to make sure that you were…you were far away and this will be the (taps on a clipboard) I got you.”

The day after the crash, we asked Police Chief Susan Ballard if there was a police pursuit.

“Pursuits are allowed. At this time we don’t know, it’s still under review and investigation that is part of the investigation, we are taking a look at all videos we have access to and officer statements to make a determination if it was a pursuit or not,” said Chief Ballard.

“I think it’s fair for the Police Department to say we don’t know what the facts are and we are not going to rush to judgment,” said Loretta Sheehan, Chair of the Honolulu Police Commission.

We asked for an update and HPD says policies and procedures for vehicle pursuits, and an internal administrative investigation into the actions of the officers involved in this case are ongoing at this time.

An attorney for two survivors and one victim’s family says he believes witness statements were left out.

“Something like this where they omit critical statements from the police report is going to rattle the public’s confidence in any government entity,” said Robert Kawamura.

Sheehan tells us she does not believe HPD is trying to cover anything up.

“The video and audio speak for itself, but the point I want to make is that HPD was the one that secured that evidence and kept that evidence and turned that evidence over, so to say that there’s some kind of cover-up strikes me as pretty unfair,” Sheehan said.

We asked the Prosecutor’s Office if they’re considering any criminal negligence charges against the police officers involved. A spokeswoman tells us they cannot confirm or deny whether there is an investigation. In addition, HPD has not forwarded a case involving criminal charges against any officer for their review.

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