The widow of Lindani Myeni, who was shot and killed by police at a home in Nuuanu on April 14 during an alleged burglary, is suing the city and three police officers for the wrongful death of her husband.
L. Lindsay Myeni said in a news release that she is suing the city and the three officers involved in the shooting because she has been unable to get information from the Honolulu Police Department about her husband’s death.
“The last thing I wanted to do was to have to go to court just a week after Lindani’s death, but our requests for information have been ignored. I trust that asking a jury of our peers to look at this case will help us get the information we need and the justice Lindani deserves,” Lindsay Myeni said.
Myeni’s attorney, Jim Bickerton, said, “The Honolulu Police Department is still hiding facts. Despite multiple requests, we have not heard the 911 tapes, the dispatch recordings, or seen the body-worn cam footage that precedes and follows the portion HPD chose to release. HPD is also holding Lindani’s phone as ‘evidence’ and will not even return his wedding ring or other personal effects to Lindani’s widow.”
Police said Lindani Myeni charged officers and fought with them, leaving the officers with multiple injuries.
At a news conference at HPD headquarters Friday, Acting Deputy Chief Allan Nagata said the officers had “fought for their lives.”
“They were in the fight for their lives — let me be clear with you. … They did very well,” Nagata said. “They were very brave. They didn’t shoot or discharge the firearm right away. This was not a case of overreaction.”
Two body-worn camera videos released Friday by the HPD show a violent struggle between 29-year-old Lindani Myeni and the police officers.
One video is 32 seconds long; the other is 55 seconds. A third officer’s body camera was not activated.
The widow’s lawyers said a key issue in their case is whether police identified themselves before ordering Lindani Myeni to get on the ground.
Bickerton’s co-counsel, Bridget Morgan-Bickerton, said, “In using force against an unarmed man, without announcing the presence of police, the burden is on the HPD to show that they were justified in taking the actions they did … Lindani was subjected to deadly force without even being given the chance to hear the required words ‘this is the police.’”
“The failure of the officers to identify themselves as police was unlawful and violated the HPD’s own policies,” the news release said.