HONOLULU (KHON2) — New video released overnight shows the moments leading up to a deadly police-involved shooting in Nuuanu. Attorneys for the wife of Lindani Myeni published the doorbell, 911 call and unredacted bodycam footage online, claiming that it shows an entirely different story than the one Honolulu police (HPD) presented.
The six-and-a-half minute video begins with two cars arriving at the address from where the 911 call came from.
The video from a doorbell camera shows a couple entering the house and Myeni right behind them. He then takes off his shoes and goes in with them. The woman calls 911 and Myeni walks out.
The video shows Myeni asking the woman, “What’s wrong?”
She replies, “Who are you?”
Myeni says, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I know you guys though. Can I see your phone?”
Attorney Jim Bickerton says the video, along with the HPD bodycam footage, shows it was the officers who created the danger by not identifying themselves until after Myeni fought with them and was fatally shot.
Defense attorney Megan Kau, who is not involved in the case, says the question of whether the shooting was justified still hinges on whether officers believed they were in danger.
“If the police officer is faced with serious bodily injury or death or the threat thereof, the police officer is justified in using deadly force to protect that police officer or another,” said Kau.
She adds that the officers were in uniform and that they arrived in marked cars. She also points out that there were two misunderstandings that led to the tragedy. One is the 911 call of the woman reporting a burglary.
“The second misunderstanding is the first police officer that arrived on the scene fails to announce himself as the police officer and so that causes greater miscommunication,” said Kau.
She also points out that the new video has been edited, but Bickerton says no actual footage was edited out.
“We just strung them together, added some titles, and synced it up with the police videos. There was nothing cut,” said Bickerton.
City Council chairman Tommy Waters also questioned HPD during a hearing with interim chief Rade Vanic about the video.
“It was clearly, at least from my perspective, it wasn’t a burglary, it was a huge mistake that had gone wrong,” said Waters.
Vanic said he could not comment on the case, but in general, officers are trained to react to the situation.
“Sometimes, they get called to a scene that maybe, may not have been what they expected, but they react to the individual or behavior that they’re presented with,” said Vanic.