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Union: No Charges Support Police Action in Fatal Shooting of Teen

Honolulu police car generic.jpg
Sophia McCullough
/
Hawaii Public Radio

Hawaiʻi’s police union is standing by a grand jury decision not to indict three Honolulu Police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a teenager near McCully.

According to police, 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap was driving a stolen car back in April that was linked to an armed robbery, burglary, purse snatching and car theft, when he led officers on a chase.

Medical records provided by an attorney representing Sykap’s family in a lawsuit show the teen was shot in the back of the head and shoulders.

SHOPO President Malcom Lutu said Thursday the verdict by the grand jury reinforces the decision-making process made by these officers.

He said the past few months have been a trying time for police officers because these incidents are hard not just on the victims but on the officers and their families.

"This is the last thing our officers want to do. I’ve stated before that I believe in the process that our officers go through or that we go through because we are protecting our communities," Lutu said.

"I believe in the process, but mostly I believe in the training that these officers go through to make these hard decisions. What profession is out there that has to make this type of decisions, like our ex-president used to say: to take a life to save a life."

He said Hawaii police forces are short-staffed while officers face increasing violence on the streets. He also said some officers are moving to the mainland where the cost of living is lower.

The shooting is still under investigation by the Honolulu Police Department, and disciplinary action may be taken if the officers are found to have violated department policy.

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