HONOLULU (KHON2) — On Tuesday, Mayor Caldwell addressed the nationwide protests over George Floyd’s death, saying the City supports the peaceful protests.
“We stand in solidarity to those who are peacefully protesting for social justice around our country today and over the past last couple days. We support the Black Lives Matter effort, to build a culture in our strained nation where each person feels seen, heard, and supported,” said Mayor Caldwell.
This past weekend, many took to the streets of Waikiki to demonstrate peacefully for the Black Lives Matter movement. On Sunday, there was even a candlelight vigil held for George Floyd at Magic Island.
In a statement on the local protests, the Honolulu Police Department (HPD) said:
The HPD is committed to ensuring civil rights and protecting life and property. This weekend’s protest marches and gatherings, large and small, were somber, peaceful and respectful. The HPD is thankful to live and serve in a community that lives aloha.The Honolulu Police Department
But across the country, looting and violence has been escalating, bringing harm to both civilians and law enforcement officers.
Sgt. Malcolm Lutu, president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) said they are aware of what’s happening.
“They’re getting hurt, some got shot… It’s bad out there,” said Lutu.
Lutu hopes it doesn’t happen here.
“Hopefully (no violence) in the future… that we won’t have these violent outbursts of riots in Honolulu or the state,” said Lutu.
However, he said officers have been trained to handle these kinds of situations.
“We have units and officers that have been training for years on these types of incidents. They’re actually taught to keep their cool,” said Lutu.
Going into the next planned protest for this weekend, he isn’t too worried.
“I think the way we carry ourselves, even as the police department and as the general public, is a lot different than what’s happening on the mainland,” said Lutu.
“Our officers see themselves not as warriors, but as guardians. It’s a theme that HPD Chief Ballard has supported from the day she took office. Guardians. Protectors of all of us no matter who we are, no matter the color of our skin, who we worship, or no one, our orientation who we love…,” said Mayor Caldwell.