Harsher penalties. That’s what some Native Hawaiian community leaders are asking for after members of the Kingdom of Atooi stormed into the Office of Hawaiian Affairs last week.
On January 17th, 5 out of 13 men from the Kingdom of Atooi were arrested. The members are being represented by attorney Michael Green. The case has been turned over to the Attorney General. Some officials are calling for more accountability from the suspects, law enforcement, and the Hawaiian Community.
OHA says at least two workers were assaulted and others were harassed. Dozens of Honolulu Police Officers were called to the scene as workers, not just from OHA but the entire building was forced to evacuate.
Four of them were arrested for third-degree assault, one for harassment. Bail was set at $100 each. Police say all of them posted bail and have been released. Four members of the Kingdom of Atooi, included two who were arrested, met with us and says they are not here to apologize.
“The time has come for OHA to be replaced, the very purpose that OHA was first created was to look after the Hawaiian people. All the resources of the land and what OHA was put in charge of, well they have failed miserably,” said Ene Faletogo, a member of Kingdom of Atooi.
However, there are those who are calling for stiffer consequences.
“While we have seen higher bail applied to Native Hawaiians seeking to protect our aina, we note that these men were released on $100 bail,” said Kuhio Lewis, CEO of the Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement. “This inequity is questionable at best. We asked have these events occurred at any other government agency, would the response by authorities be the same?”
According to Honolulu Police, the offense classification is based on the information that is available to the responding officers at the scene. Offenses can be reclassified if there is new information.