comscore Family of slain Big Island musician claims police exposed his identity | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
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Family of slain Big Island musician claims police exposed his identity

  • COURTESY HAWAII COUNTY POLICE

    Robert Keawe “Lopaka” Ryder

KAILUA-KONA » The family of a Big Island musician who was shot and killed in 2013 is suing the Hawaii Police Department over claims that it allowed his identity as a confidential informant to be released.

West Hawaii Today reports the lawsuit filed by Robert Keawe Lopaka Ryder’s family alleges he was killed by Martin Frank Booth because the department let Ryder’s identity be leaked.

Booth was sentenced to life in prison in 2014 after pleading guilty to second-degree murder in Ryder’s death.

At the time, authorities reported that Booth said the crime was in retaliation for an assault he believed Ryder had committed.

However, the lawsuit states that Ryder was killed because Booth learned that he had been acting as an informant against him.

The county denies responsibility for Ryder’s death.

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  • Bad PR for the police department as blabber mouth and confidentiality will not be protected should you provide information to solve a crime. Poor judgement if the leak is true. Public will not cooperate with police in future for sure!

  • we don’t know if the allegations in this lawsuit are true … but regardless, an unfortunate side effect is that people may be discouraged from coming forward as witnesses or to report crimes … if they think the police are unable (or unwilling) to protect them.

  • unfortunately, there are many ways an informant can be exposed. the target’s suspicion can uncover discrepancies in an informant’s actions, meetings or communications. an informant’s own family members can deliberately or accidentally expose a thread that unravels the informant’s operation. exposed wires, notes or ryder’s own words may have betrayed him.

    blaming a single entity as the sole source of the identity leak is difficult to prove when there are many other ways ryder’s identity as an informant may have been leaked to or determined by the target.

    it would be interesting to see what evidence ryder’s family is relying on in filing this lawsuit.

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