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Kealoha: I won’t ‘crumble’ to pressure on abuse probe

    Honolulu Police Chief Louise Kealoha, right, and Deputy Chief Dave Kajihiro, speak at press conference about the department's domestic violence policy on Thurs., Sept. 18, 2014.

Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha Thursday said public pressure is prompting him to expedite the investigation into the police officer who was allegedly caught on video brutally beating his girlfriend at a Waipahu restaurant.

Kealoha said detectives are now working on the case 24 hours a day seeking witnesses and gathering more evidence.

The department launched an investigation into the alleged assault after receiving a video on Sept. 9 that showed an off-duty officer repeatedly punching a woman on Sept. 8 at Restaurant Kuni and Lounge.

Police are also investigating Pearl City officers who responded to the incident but failed to file a report.

The chief, speaking at police headquarters Thursday, defended his handling of the case, saying he wasn’t going to succumb to public calls to make an arrest based on the video.

“If you expect a chief to crumble under political and public pressure and arrest someone based on partial evidence and without doing a full investigation, I’m not going to do that,” he said.

Kealoha said he didn’t want set up the expectation that anyone can send us “an edited copy of a video and expect us to go arrest people. That’s unacceptable. Because that can be anyone of you.”

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