Target: Prosecuting Attorney for the City and County of Honolulu Keith M. Kaneshiro
Goal: Seek maximum charges against cop who was filmed viciously beating an unmoving man for praying for a sick seal.
A native Hawaiian man was repeatedly beaten with a baton by an officer after police were allegedly called because the native was performing a seemingly harmless prayer ceremony for a sick seal on the beach. Video taken by a bystander shows the man kneeling several feet away from the seal, making praying motions for a few minutes, but doing nothing that could harm the animal.
An officer then shows up and stands by the man, seemingly telling him to get away from the seal, since civilians are not allowed to approach these animals. After finishing his prayer, the man complies by getting up and walking away. The officer follows him to the man’s belongings, but when the man picks them up and starts to walk away again, the officer follows again and then suddenly runs in front of the man, blocking his path.
In the next moment, the officer starts hitting this man with his baton. The man remains still, bending over some in pain but not doing anything to fight back. The officer then delivers a vicious blow, knocking the bag away and sending the man to his knees, the officer continues the beating until the man is face down in the sand, unmoving. A couple seconds later, the cop stomps on him for no apparent reason at all.
While it’s true this native Hawaiian man may have been breaking the law by approaching the seal, even in an attempt to heal it, this response to what appeared to have been nothing but walking away seems entirely inappropriate. Despite the clear video showing the extent of the brutal attack that resulted in broken bones, prosecutors initially declined to bring the officer up on charges. The chief prosecutor has ordered them to re-examine the case.
This is yet another clear cut case of police brutality filmed by a bystander that prosecutors are trying to let slide. Sign our petition to support the chief prosecutor and demand that the officer not only be charged, but that the maximum punishment for excessive force be pursued.
Dear Mr. Kaneshiro,
Recently, an officer was filmed viciously beating a native Hawaiian man, apparently for the crime of kneeling near a seal and praying for it before walking away peacefully. I understand that you’ve already ordered your prosecutors to re-examine the case after they initially declined to press charges against this cop for what appears to be a clear cut case of police brutality.
A long video taken by nearby bystanders shows the entire incident and how this man was not resisting or being violent in any way, yet he was beaten so badly that he collapsed on the ground only to receive a hard stomp by the officer. This is unacceptable behavior for any police officer and action needs to be taken to prevent anything like it from happening again.
I commend you for your action against this officer. Please ensure that not only is he charged and indicted, but your office pursues the maximum charges against him. We as a nation can’t keep letting cops get away with clear unnecessary force.
[Your Name Here]