HONOLULU (KHON2) — Tuesday’s court appearance by Honolulu police officers Geoffrey Thom, Zackary Ah Nee and Christopher Fredeluces brought out lots of emotions from both in support of the officers and those seeking legal action against them for the shooting that killed 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap.
The demonstration began with a few words from the founder of “Back Dah Blue Hawaii” Wayne Kaiwi, he let those who showed up know to share aloha even to those with opposing views.
Kaiwi said, “Please, please do not engage in any negative with the opposition.”
Soon after, a caravan of at least a dozen cars rallied in support of the three officers, drawing cheers and chants from demonstrators.
The State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers President Malcolm Lutu said he was able to speak with two of the officers before Tuesday’s court hearing.
“Yesterday I got to speak with a couple of the officers, two of the three,” Lutu said. “And their big thing is this, after the first hearing they had they saw the people, and they didn’t realize how much support they have.”
The demonstration was peaceful for most of the afternoon, but tensions grew once both parties came closer together, at one point chanting into each others faces.
Dozens of people showed up in support of the Iremamber Sykap’s family who call for legal action against the officers. A niece of Sykap told KHON 2 News that she was there to tell others the death of her uncle was unjust.
On April 5, police officers shot and killed Sykap after leading them on a car chase inside a vehicle police said was reported stolen. Officer Thom who faces a second-degree murder charge fired 10 shots at Skykap. Officers Ah Nee and Fredeluces are facing second-degree attempted murder charges for their involvement in the shooting.