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Wrongful death lawsuit alleges Big Isle police brutality

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    This 2011 booking photo released by the Hawaii County Police Department shows Randall Hatori.

Hawaii County police used a stun gun and beat a man while he was incapacitated on the ground then delayed getting him medical attention as he was dying, the man’s brother claimed in a wrongful death lawsuit.

Randall Hatori was a passenger in a car that officers pulled over in Kailua-Kona in 2014. He ran as police arrested the driver on a warrant for contempt of court.

An officer used the stun gun to knock down Hatori, according to the lawsuit filed Tuesday by his brother, Clarence Hatori.

Officers then “began beating … Hatori with their hands, feet and police equipment, even though he presented no threat or risk of harm to them,” the lawsuit states.

County of Hawaii Corporation Counsel Molly Stebbins said in an email Wednesday that the county had not yet been served with the lawsuit and had no comment.

In a news release at the time, police said Hatori actively resisted arrest. Other officers responded to help restrain him, and he became unresponsive after he was in handcuffs, police said.

Police said Hatori was wanted for assault and violating temporary restraining orders. Detectives found 7.3 grams of methamphetamine at the scene of the struggle, police said.

The lawsuit claims officers delayed getting medical help while Hatori lay handcuffed and motionless.

“Medical personnel were summoned to treat superficial injuries of one … officer,” it states.

Hatori was taken to Kona Community Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. An autopsy classified the death as a homicide.

Autopsy results released for Kailua-Kona man who died in custody

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