POSTED: 10:55 a.m. HST, Aug 15, 2014
LAST UPDATED: 09:38 p.m. HST, Aug 15, 2014
Invoking a litany of recent cases involving young men who lost their lives at the hands of law enforcement, a group of some 50 demonstrators marched through Waikiki on Friday to protest the acquittal of U.S. State Department special agent Christopher Deedy for murder in the shooting death of Kollin Elderts.
"What happened to (Elderts) is very much related to what has been going on the mainland with Eric Garner, who was choked to death by police officers in New York, or the shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri," said Liz Rees, a member of World Can't Wait, one of several activist groups that are part of the Justice for Kollin Elderts Coalition. "Enough is enough. These cases exemplify the racist system and people are standing up against this kind of injustice."
Deedy, who was in Hawaii to provide security for the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference, killed Elderts during an early morning confrontation in a Waikiki McDonald's on Nov. 5, 2011. He had arrived in Honolulu earlier that day but was off-duty when the incident occurred.
State prosecutors argued that Deedy was drunk and initiated the fight with Elderts.
Deedy testified that he had intervened to stop Elderts from harassing another customer and that he shot Elderts in self-defense as the confrontation escalated.