Target: Honolulu Chief of Police Louis Kealoha
Goal: Fire officer who beat a man for praying for the recovery of a distressed seal.
A police officer allegedly beat and injured a man who was trying to non-violently pray for an endangered seal. Hawaiian native Jamie Kalani Rice thought he was doing a good deed when he saw a seal that looked like it was in distress. It was a monk seal, an endangered animal, and Rice bypassed a “Do Not Disturb” sign to pray for its health. He rubbed sand on the seal’s body and chanted to it, hoping he could heal the animal. A volunteer with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration called the police and recorded the incident.
Rice was soon met by Officer Ming Wang, who asked Rice to leave while he was still performing his ritual. Wang, as caught on camera, wastes no time in pulling out his baton. The seal then left, and Rice started to as well. Wang, however, caught up to Rice and pepper sprayed him. Wang ended up pepper spraying Rice multiple times and savagely beating him on his hands and back, breaking bones in his right hand.
While Rice may have been guilty of obstructing a government operation, there was no reason for Wang to use force. Rice was simply using his faith to try and revive a seal that may have been sick. It was an unprovoked attack on a man who remained peaceful, even after being pepper sprayed.
Wang allegedly even tried to misrepresent the events and arrest Rice for resisting arrest. Rice has filed for damages, and prosecutors have debated pressing charges against Wang. Write to the Honolulu Chief of Police and tell him he should fire this dangerous officer.
Dear Chief Kealoha,
We are writing to demand the firing of Officer Ming Wang, who committed an unprovoked attack on a peaceful Honolulu citizen. Hawaiian native Jamie Kalani Rice bypassed a Do Not Disturb sign so he could pray for a seal that may have been ill. When someone called the police, Wang arrived and wasted little time in brandishing a weapon.
Rice was conducting a faithful ritual to help aid the seal, and at no point posed a threat to the seal or to Wang. But Wang still pepper sprayed Rice multiple times and beat him with a baton so badly that he broke bones in Rice’s right hand. The seal had departed and Rice was trying to do the same–there was no reason to use any force.
We understand that Wang even tried to misrepresent what had happened so that he could charge Rice with resisting arrest. This is a disgusting overreach of authority for an officer who was too quick to resort to violence. Please consider removing Wang from the force before he becomes unnecessarily violent again.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: SPBer