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Maui police release officer accused of inappropriate conduct, abuse of authority

  • COURTESY MAUI POLICE DEPARTMENT

    Maui police officer Brandon Saffeels was released from custody today from the Wailuku station. Police arrested him Monday as he got off a flight arriving on Maui on the strength of an arrest warrant based on information gathered in an ongoing criminal investigation.

Maui police released this afternoon a police officer, who was arrested Monday night at Kahului Airport, after posting $50,000 bail.

Maui Officer Brandon Saffeels was released from custody at 1:36 p.m. today from the Wailuku station. Police arrested him Monday as he got off a flight arriving in Maui on the strength of an arrest warrant based on information gathered in an ongoing criminal investigation.

He faces charges of attempted perjury, first-degree attempted hindering prosecution and tampering with a witness.

Maui Police Department’s Criminal Investigations Division detectives arrested Officer Brandon Saffeels at 6 p.m. Monday as he got off a flight arriving in Maui.

Hawaii News Now reported that a woman told them Saffeels had arrested her for allegedly driving under the influence.

Saffeels later allegedly texted the woman with inappropriate comments, but she did not want to turn over her cellphone to a police detective when she reported the incident to Internal Affairs, HNN reported.

Another woman also had come forward with a similar complaint, saying that Saffeels offered to throw a criminal trial after he arrested her for DUI, repeatedly asking her to come to his home, HNN said.

Maui Police Chief Tivoli Faaumu released a video statement on the MPD’s Facebook page addressing the arrest.

“The Maui community has been devastated by the recent report of inappropriate conduct and abuse of authority by one of my officers,” he said. “I know that many have come to question your trust in the Maui Police Department and, like you, am disappointed in these revelations.”

“We have taken action today,” he said, saying, “Officer Brandon Saffeels has been arrested.”

He assured the public that an administrative investigation will be conducted along with the criminal investigation.

“I will not tolerate any misconduct by any of my officers,” he said. “Throughout this investigation, we have to remember there is a process to address all manner of complaints.”

The chief also said: “It is with extreme regret that our community has to face these repulsive acts. It has cut deep into the fabric of our department’s mission statement and the spirit of aloha, but I hope that we can begin the healing process.”

He thanked the department’s men and women who work diligently for the citizens of Maui, and thanked the community members, who have shown understanding and shown support for those in the department who protect them.

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