HONOLULU (KHON2) — The Department of the Prosecuting Attorney presented evidence to an Oahu grand jury on Wednesday, June 9, seeking indictments of three Honolulu Police Department officers relating to the officer-involved shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap.
The grand jury declined to return indictments for any of the officers.
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HPD Interim Police Chief Rade Vanic released the following statement:
“Police work is difficult, and officers must sometimes make split-second decisions in potentially deadly situations. Despite the many challenges, we will continue to do the best we can to protect and serve our community. We are appreciative of the jury’s time and consideration.”
On May 21, the grandmother and mother of Sykap filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the City and County of Honolulu and HPD officers involved in his shooting death on April 5.
Police say Sykap was driving a stolen car that was linked to a crime spree before he drove it into the Kalakaua Stream. The others in the car ranged in age from 14 to 22.
His family filed a lawsuit saying officers have been harassing the family and are also asking HPD to release bodycam video and 911 calls because they believe the shooting was unjustified.
HPD says it can not comment on the lawsuit and the investigation into the shooting continues.
The lawsuit alleges that officers have been harassing and threatening family members. It also says police are withholding information about the shooting. The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief.
“They’ve been calling grandma and the mom. They’ve been going by their house and making threats,” attorney Eric Seitz said on Friday. “Among them, threats that if the other brothers don’t turn themselves in and cooperate with the authorities, that they’re going to end up dead as well.”
In other instances, the family says police have waited outside the mortuary on the day of Sykap’s funeral and harassed people who attended the vigil site.
“I believe these police officers who were engaged in the shooting are legitimately concerned they may face criminal charges,” said Seitz.
HPD has said it will not release body camera footage since juveniles were involved. Spokeswoman Sarah Yoro says the department also won’t release 911 recordings.
Read more about the lawsuit here.
The Department of the Prosecuting Attorney is still reviewing the matter.