A woman who was shot by an off-duty Honolulu police officer has filed a federal lawsuit alleging the officer’s supervisors knew the officer had drinking and emotional problems but failed to take steps to prevent him from carrying a firearm.
Hyun Ju Park, 42, had been working as a bartender and manager at a sports bar in April 2015 when a round fired from Officer Anson Kimura’s handgun struck her in the stomach. She was hospitalized in serious condition, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported.
Police said the shooting was accidental and placed Kimura, 58, on restricted duty while investigations were underway. The officer retired about a month after the shooting before any investigations were completed.
Kimura’s lawyer had said his client was checking his department-approved personal firearm to see if it was loaded when the gun went off.
Kimura later pleaded guilty to assault and recklessly causing serious bodily injury and spent two months behind bars. He was also sentenced to four years of probation.
Park’s lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court on Thursday, says the Honolulu Police Department failed to immediately discipline Kimura and the other officers he was drinking with at the time of the shooting. It also points to a department policy that prohibits officers from handling firearms when they are drinking.
The department didn’t respond to requests for comment.