HONOLULU — Dozens of people gathered in Honolulu’s Waikiki neighborhood over the weekend following two recent police shootings in Hawaii.
The demonstrators at Saturday’s protest said they were there to demand justice for the victims, Hawaii News Now reported.
On April 5, Honolulu police officers shot and killed 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap after the teen allegedly committed several crimes over the course of several days.
Outgoing Police Chief Susan Ballard has said Sykap was driving a stolen white Honda Civic that was linked to a burglary, purse snatching, car theft and an armed robbery.
Officers pursued the car as it sped away, with the vehicle at one point driving into oncoming traffic, Ballard said. The driver rammed two police cars before crashing into a fence and landing in a canal, she said.
Before the car ended up in the canal, officers shot at it. Some of the occupants later ran from the canal with officers pursuing them, Ballard said.
Sykap was taken to a hospital where he died, Ballard said. The five other occupants of the car were between the ages of 14 to 22.
The three officers who used their guns had been placed on administrative leave.
Last Wednesday, Lindani Myeni, a 29-year-old Black man, was shot and killed after allegedly entering into a stranger’s home.
Police allege that after officers arrived on the scene, Myeni charged at them and repeatedly punched them. Police said after a Taser failed to stop Myeni, officers shot him multiple times.
Ballard said the fatal police shooting of Myeni in the Nuuanu area was justified because the man put officers’ lives in jeopardy.
One officer suffered multiple facial fractures and concussions, Ballard said.
Liz Rees, a member of Refuse Fascism Hawaii group, which organized the protest, disagreed with the police accounting of the events.
“We’re just demanding justice for all victims of police murder, all victims of police brutality,” Rees said. “And, for people who think that this doesn’t happen here in Hawaii, it does.”