Honolulu Police Commission review HPD Chief’s performance following fatal shooting in McCully

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Honolulu Police Commission held a meeting on Wednesday, April 7, days after a violent crime spree turned deadly.

On the agenda was reviewing the performance of Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard.

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Doug Chin, former Hawaii Attorney General, was among the police commissioners to ask Ballard for any updates relating to Monday’s shooting.

“It’s still under investigation,” Ballard said. “There’s nothing more, no information, that we can share at this time.”

Ballard said it’s a very “convoluted thing” with a lot of evidence that need to be looked at before another press conference can be planned.

She estimated that it would take at least a couple of months to complete the investigation but could not give an official time frame.

Monday’s police shooting involved six suspects ranging in age from 14 to 22 years old and multiple locations.

It ended with five suspects in custody and a 16-year-old boy dead.

Police said it started Saturday, April 3, in Kailua, where a car was reported stolen. That same vehicle was later linked to a burglary and car theft in Kaimuki, then a purse-snatching in Waikiki, and finally an armed robbery in Moiliili.

On Monday, April 5, officers spotted the suspect vehicle at Kawaikui Beach Park and followed it onto Kalanianaole Highway, the H-1 Freeway, then Kapiolani Boulevard. It all came to an end near the intersection of Kalakaua Avenue and Phillips Street, where the vehicle crashed into a canal.

Before the suspects’ vehicle was located, there was an armed robbery on Isenberg street. One of the victims tells us he has no idea why they were targeted. Around 4 p.m. Monday afternoon, Hung Thai was sitting inside his home when his friend tried to warn him about two men.

Click here to read Hung Thai’s account of Monday’s fatal shooting.

The Honolulu Police Commission also spent Wednesday discussing changes to HPD’s use of force policy.

Ballard said among the changes were the removal of the vascular neck restraint from the use of force continuum and modifications to the shooting of vehicles.

On the topic of police force, Chin also brought up the free speech gathering at Kapiolani Park that look place last month where there were complaints of police presence.

“Does the department have a policy in terms of how it handles First Amendment gatherings?” Chin asked.

Ballard said the protesters did not have a permit to be in the park and refused to abide by the mask mandate and social gathering, initially. 

“Our primarily responsibility is the safety of the community and the people who are at that gathering,” said Ballard. “Once again, because of the fact that citations and arrests are pretty much being thrown out of court and are not being prosecuted, our primary goal is to try to break up the large gatherings so that everybody can go home safely, including the officers.”

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