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Oahu grand jury declines charges against 3 Honolulu officers in Sykap shooting

  • CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / APRIL 5
                                Honolulu police on April 5 investigated at Kalakaua Avenue and Philip Street, where Iremamber Sykap, 16, was shot to death by police.

    CINDY ELLEN RUSSELL / APRIL 5

    Honolulu police on April 5 investigated at Kalakaua Avenue and Philip Street, where Iremamber Sykap, 16, was shot to death by police.

An Oahu grand jury declined to indict three Honolulu police officers in connection with the April 5 shooting of an unarmed 16-year-old boy.

Iremamber Sykap was the driver of a vehicle that allegedly led police on a chase before a final attempt to evade capture ended in his death in a canal off of Kalakaua Avenue.

Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steven S. Alm’s office investigated the shooting and presented evidence to an Oahu grand jury today, seeking indictments of three Honolulu Police Department officers allegedly involved in the shooting.

The grand jury, however, declined to return indictments for any of the officers, according to prosecutors.

“Police work is difficult, and officers must sometimes make split-second decisions in potentially deadly situations,” said interim Chief, Rade K. Vanic, in a statement released by HPD. “Despite the many challenges, we will continue to do the best we can to protect and serve our community. We are appreciative of the jury’s time and consideration.”

Prosecutors are reviewing the matter, according to a news release from Alm’s office. A spokesman declined to disclose what charges prosecutors were hoping to indict the officers on.

Hospital records from the Queen’s Medical Center, where Sykap was taken by Emergency Medical Service personnel, show he was shot once in the back of the head, twice in the back of one shoulder and once in the back of his other shoulder, according to Eric A. Seitz, who is representing the Sykap family in a wrongful death lawsuit against the officers and the city.

HPD declined to release any body worn camera footage from the April 5 shooting of Sykap, who was killed, police said, after he drove a stolen, white Honda Civic at officers on Kalakaua Avenue following a crime spree.

But video evidence from an officer’s body-worn camera that was leaked to a Honolulu television station shows the car was at a complete stop when officers standing to the side and rear of the vehicle fired into it, killing Sykap as he sat behind the wheel. The prosecuting attorney’s office and HPD declined the Honolulu Star-Advertiser’s request for body camera footage from the shooting.

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