Lawmaker wants answers on Public Safety Dept.’s polices, procedures

Local News

A state lawmaker says he’s had questions about the Public Safety Department’s policies even before the recent fatal shootings by state sheriffs, that includes the OCCC inmate shot and killed after escaping Friday.   

This is the second fatal shooting just weeks apart involving the Public Safety Department. So one legislator is bringing into light the topic of using non-lethal weapons.  

Officials say 47-year-old Maurice Arrisgado, Jr. ran through both an open door and an open gate Friday night when he was waiting to be re-housed at Oahu Community Correctional Center after a court appearance. Officers caught up to him roughly two blocks away. Arrisgado was shot just outside of St. Anthony Church on Puuhale Road.

“First of all, an escape is a major mistake. Those things just don’t happen. As you might expect, we are very early into this investigation and it will be both criminal by HPD and the administrative by my staff. The administrative investigations will look into every detail,” said Department of Public Safety Director Nolan Espinda. 

Senator Clarence Nishihara, Public Safety Committee Chair, tells us there are a number questions the department needs to answer.

“They have to ask number one, how was that process didn’t work as it should because they bring in people all the time,” said Senator Nishihara. 

The latest fatal shootings, including a sheriff shooting at the state capitol less than two weeks ago, have also put into question the use of non-lethal weapons.  

“They couldn’t run up to get a hold of him, so that raises the issue of at what distance was he shot and was it a distance where they could have used maybe used a taser?” said the Senator. “Again, they don’t have tasers and the question why don’t they? It’s not an issue that they should be unaware of what the sheriffs need to have some other systems of handling non-lethally to detain someone.”

Senator Nishihara says he’s contemplating on possibly holding a hearing. 

“To open up these questions and get people to come forward and answer to the best of their ability the questions we have,” he said. 

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