POSTED: 02:15 p.m. HST, Jul 25, 2014
A retired chief trainer of federal law enforcement officers said in state court Friday that agents who go to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center are instructed and trained to draw their firearm only if they intend to use it.
"They're not to use the weapon as a compliance tool, not supposed to point the weapon and say, 'If you come closer I'll shoot you," said Kenneth Amiano.
He said, "The weapon comes out with the intent to use the weapon. The weapon is to be used to stop the threat."
The officers and agents are trained to aim at center mass, the middle of the body, he said.
Amiano testified as a defense witness in the Christopher Deedy murder retrial, which is underway in Circuit Court.
Deedy, 30, a U.S. State Department special agent, is on trial for murder for fatally shooting 23-year-old Kollin Elderts in a Waikiki McDonald's restaurant in November 2011. Deedy was in Honolulu to provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference. This is his second trial in the case because the first one last year ended with a hung jury.
Defense lawyer Thomas Otake asked Amiano questions about law enforcement training that Deedy is expected to talk about when he testifies in his own defense next week.
Amiano said officers and agents who are trained at the FLETC are drilled daily on the use of force, including deadly force.
He said one of the techniques officers are taught is a front, thrust kick low on the body to create space between himself and an assailant. He said the kick should be aimed low to maintain balance.
Amiano said one of the worst situations for an officer is being knocked to the ground.
Prosecutor Janice Futa asked Amiano what he would do if the assailant then walked away from him.
Amiano said he would get to his feet, draw his weapon and give verbal commands to "Stay back, don't come any closer." If the assailant moves forward or rushes him, he said he would shoot.