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Hauula man sues Honolulu Police Department

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 11:45 a.m. HST, Jun 10, 2014

A 30-year-old Hauula man is suing the Honolulu Police Department, claiming officers used excessive force in arresting him and withheld evidence that would have kept him out of jail.

Hawaii News Now reports Jonah Kaahu was jailed for nine months until a judge dismissed his case on the grounds of police misconduct.

Circuit Judge Ed Kubo ruled that police withheld witness testimony and cell phone videos of his arrest taken by friends and tourists.

Kaahu on Aug. 22, 2012, was arrested outside a Haleiwa restaurant where he worked. He was charged by prosecutors with terroristic threatening, assault against a police officer and criminal property damage.

His attorney says police ignored witnesses who said Kaahu was not the instigator of a fight that broke out.

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Mythman wrote:
juicy lawsuit - pleasantly surprised that Kubo did the right thing. Maybe there is a chance for the constitution after all in a quasi police state with one party rule.
on June 10,2014 | 05:49AM
eoe wrote:
If you think this is a police state I would advise you to turn fox news off and read some history books. The fact that you would post a comment like that tells me you don't think this is a police state, because obviously you aren't scared of making a comment and then you, your family, and your friends getting black bagged, tortured to death and dumped into the ocean. Only a right wing Murcan, ignorant of history, ignorant of real suffering, ignorant of what real oppression looks like would actually, with a straight face, call Hawaii a police state.
on June 10,2014 | 09:45AM
Mythman wrote:
Put your specs on gramps, I wrote "quasi police state". What's the matter, don't know what "quasi" means? A police state is N Korea or China, today. A quasi police state is one where the cops rule and not the constitution.
on June 10,2014 | 09:53AM
eoe wrote:
Sorry, don't buy your response. There is nothing in Hawaii that remotely resembles a police state. Just run of the mill police "respect my authoritay" attitude. This is the problem with the right these days, you throw around words like tyranny, police state, oppression, persecution for issues that don't remotely resemble the actual meaning of the word being used. You couldn't just call it police arrogance, police overreach, police brutality - no, since it is a democratic state it is "quasi police state with one party rule" as if the police anywhere else act differently.
on June 10,2014 | 11:00AM
Mythman wrote:
eoe - and you, my friend, are looking for opps to zing what you feel, not think, are right wingers. I've dealt directly multiple times with local cops in many, many situations and matters and they are the worst. Period. Ditto the Democrat party hacks who run this place like it is their own private corporation to do with as they please - just like the Chinese and North Korean far leftists. I used to be a Dem till I wised up and saw they are the problem not the solution.
on June 10,2014 | 02:21PM
GorillaSmith wrote:
Nine months in jail without a trial because a corrupt police force withheld evidence sounds enough like a police state to me.
on June 10,2014 | 11:25AM
Knowlege wrote:
maybe... but at the expense of a man having to spend 9 months in jail only for the case to be dismissed.
on June 10,2014 | 04:08PM
Tahitigirl55 wrote:
Good job Judge Kubo - so good to see that by standers are getting involved with police brutality. We have a new bred of HPD officers. The young generation has a attitude with wearing that badge. The older HPD officers were good and police brutality was not in their vocabulary. Hope more people get involved when it comes to see things that should happen.
on June 10,2014 | 06:32AM
lwandcah wrote:
There always have been and always will be bad eggs in any occupation; law enforcement is no exception. There were just as many officers that should not have been wearing badges 40 years ago. That being said, there also are just as many good, conscientious men and women officers that do their jobs and serve the public. Then there are those that go above and beyond what is expected, and for them I am truly grateful.
on June 10,2014 | 07:51AM
Morimoto wrote:
How much interaction have you had with police from both the "old" and "new" generation and how do you come to your decision that this younger generation is any worse than the older generation? Police brutality has been around for as long as there have been police. It's just like people saying Hawaii was safer in the "good old days" when in reality crime is lower now than it has been in decades (1960s). A lot is perception, not reality.
on June 10,2014 | 08:45AM
gmkhawaii wrote:
Well, when you USED to be the PROSECUTOR.......then you don't get the support you thought you were going to get.......views and ideals can change.
on June 10,2014 | 07:04AM
soundofreason wrote:
Cities are moving towards their police force wearing cameras. When the police are innocent, it protects them. When they are guilty - not so much. Point is, police complaints were down by about 80% because the officers knew they were on film so their actions change and suspects knew they were on film which prevented false accusations in the first place. Sounds like some great common sense measures so............what are we waiting for?
on June 10,2014 | 07:14AM
silvangold wrote:
B I N G O !!!! you are saying what most of us are thinking!
on June 10,2014 | 07:39AM
cojef wrote:
Self restraint and protection from suits against the police have dual benefits.
on June 10,2014 | 07:45AM
st1d wrote:
it's not the arrest, but the withholding of evidence that is the damning injustice in this incident. nine months in a cell block, for police misconduct. inexcusable.
on June 10,2014 | 08:37AM
bumba wrote:
Whoever in the Police Department withheld the evidence should be prosecuted.
on June 10,2014 | 08:39AM
Morimoto wrote:
This is one good thing about the proliferation of camera phones. Video doesn't lie and it makes people more accountable for their actions.
on June 10,2014 | 08:48AM
residenttaxpayer wrote:
The big question is whether HPD will determine disciplinary action is necessary against the involved officers........
on June 10,2014 | 09:24AM
kprtyqn wrote:
Kinda sad when that happens...somehow dependent on the full circumstances it was hard to tell if it was "on purpose" to miss that information OR with all the activity going on it was overlooked.
on June 10,2014 | 09:25AM
Bully wrote:
The judge was not afraid to call it like it is. This guy is going to have a pay day but its the tax payer that has to pay for it and not the cops. Thats just not right, somebody should be fired or at least made responsible and forced to pay some of the settlement.
on June 10,2014 | 10:06AM
localguy wrote:
HPD Chief needs to resign, accepting responsibility for their willful failure to lead their officers. Shinseki accepted responsibility for VA problems and resigned, HPD chief needs to follow the lead.
on June 10,2014 | 11:07AM
Mythman wrote:
My favorite vignette is when I told a beat cop I was making a report to the chief about his behavior. I can't repeat what the beat cop then said and did here. The cops you can trust as straight arrows are the ones grouped closely around the Chief.
on June 10,2014 | 02:23PM
Tarakian wrote:
I agree with the Judge dismissing case on grounds on police misconduct. The police officers should have included other evidence that applied to the case. However, this is not police abuse in my opinion. The videos should bring clarity. I predict the case gets dismissed and no out of court settlement. However, I believe HPD needs to further train their officers in Arrest and Control tactics and not just yearly training.
on June 10,2014 | 10:33AM
dsl wrote:
the guy was wrongly arrested and sat in jail for months on trumped charges. Keep that in mind.
on June 10,2014 | 10:56AM
localguy wrote:
Can you say "Big time lawsuit in the hundreds of thousands of tax payer's money."
on June 10,2014 | 02:45PM
MariaBetty wrote:
Disparity of Justice towards Hawaiians is nothing new.
on June 10,2014 | 10:33AM
localguy wrote:
Just as Eric Shinseki accepted responsibility for VA problems and resigned, so should the HPD chief accept responsibility for willfully failing to ensure the officers under their command follow the letter of the law. Clearly the HPD Chief failed to instill in officers their responsibility to lead by example. Only corrective action is to resign, the public has lost confidence in them. Time to go.
on June 10,2014 | 11:05AM
inverse wrote:
Besides this case what Dinnan who was killed by and HPD officer and off duty fireman trying to get his truck back? The guy was choked to death and Star Advertiser photos showed Dinnan unconscious in a hospital bed all bruised up. If Deedy was tried on 1st degree murder why was this off duty fireman and HPD officer not charged for at least 2nd degree murder? Appears the guy renting on Dinaan property stole the truck but even if he was an accomplice punishment for stealing a truck is death?
on June 10,2014 | 11:31AM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Maybe this loser shouldn't have put himself in this position in the first place. Criminals today. Pffft. That said, whoever withheld any type of evidence? Termination is in order.
on June 10,2014 | 11:39AM
den wrote:
I see $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
on June 10,2014 | 01:51PM
Wahiawamauka wrote:
How can I find the video on You tube??
on June 10,2014 | 01:55PM
localguy wrote:
Just to show you how backwards HPD is, anyone who watched the movie, "My Cousin Vinny" learned the prosecution must provide the defense with all the information they have. Failure could be grounds for Prosecutorial Misconduct. Hmmm, looks like the Prosecutor should also resign along with the HPD Chief on grounds of willful incompetence. Both have a vote of No Confidence from everyone.
on June 10,2014 | 02:43PM
Tipops wrote:
Oh, oh, could it be time for a new prosecutor and a new police chief? The huge disparity in the way people are charged in this county is disturbing, to say the least. Regardless of whatever else happens, I hope people remember these incidents when the elections come up and vote accordingly. The city prosecutor's job is an elected position, police chief position isn't electoral, but enough pressure on the mayor's office can influence who is in that job. Anyway, there's going to be a BIG payoff coming to Mr. Kaahu, and deservedly so!
on June 10,2014 | 05:47PM
Maweke wrote:
What are the police officers and their superiors names, badge number, address and social security numbers? It would be nice to share the Aloha spirit with others to include these vital information. Any more time than 48 hours is kidnapping, torture, and cruel the new normal for law enforcement through out the US. If Kaahu claims Native Hawaiian Citizenship and request a hearing through the US State Department these officers and their superiors could be considered combatant terrorist. A stay at Guantanamo may be in order...
on June 10,2014 | 06:40PM
fumio50 wrote:
Okay, let me get this straight......Mr. Kaahu is working at the best Shrimp Truck on the North Shore (Giovanni's) when a dispute breaks out involving his co-workers. When the police get there, Mr. Kaahu is arrested and "beaten up" by the police, who use excessive force. Police have evidence that will keep Mr. Kaahu out of jail, but they "withhold" that evidence? Mr. Kaahu's case is dismissed and now he's suing the police department....... Interesting spin on this story.......How's about we dig deeper and look at the court filings online. Mr. Kaahu's attorney wants to SEE the 500 page Internal Affairs investigation that clears officers of wrongdoing because the Internal Affairs detectives probably interviewed witnesses and obtained cell phone video from people who witnessed the incident. When he is doesn't get the Internal Affairs file (or when he gets it heavily redacted), he files a Motion to Dismiss because Hawaii Rules of Penal Procedure, Rule 16, says that you have to disclose evidence to the Defense within ten calendar days. The Honorable judge in this case, Ed Kubo, has no choice but to grant Mr. Kaahu's Motion to Dismiss. This case has nothing to do with the officers who arrested Mr. Kaahu withholding evidence! If the officers are still on the job and haven't been arrested themselves for assault, that probably means that the Internal Affairs investigation CLEARED them of wrongdoing! This whole case/lawsuit is Mr. Kaahu's lawyer "spinning the story", sensationalizing it to make it sound "juicy", so that you when you read it, you feel sorry for Mr. Kaahu! Sorry, but I'm not buying it!!
on June 11,2014 | 11:09AM
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