Attorney says third party involved in Kaneohe man’s death

Courtesy: The Dinnan family.
Courtesy: The Dinnan family.

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KHON2 has learned the investigation into a Kaneohe man’s death while being arrested by police, may involve someone outside of Honolulu Police Department.

The family of Stephen Dinnan claims police used excessive force when they were arresting him for an auto theft. Dinnan later died, but sources tell KHON2 that before Dinnan was arrested, he was involved in a scuffle with a person who believed Dinnan stole his truck.

Lawyers and witnesses confirm a third-party was involved and that person believed Dinnan stole a truck, and showed up at the Waimanalo home to get it back.

The pictures Stephen Dinnan’s girlfriend showed to KHON2 last week — claiming excessive police force was used and ultimately ended up killing Dinnan.

A witness, who did not want to be identified, says that was not the case.

“The officer involved took the right steps in restraining him and keeping him from injuring himself,” witness said.

A preliminary autopsy determined there were no assaultive-type injuries.

The witness believes Dinnan got hurt before officers arrived.

Other sources say Dinnan was involved in a scuffle at the Waimanalo home, after being tracked down by someone who claimed Dinnan had stolen a vehicle.

“This officer did nothing having restrained Mr. Dinnan to stop this other individual from contributing to the asphyxiation of Dinnan. I can’t comment on who this person is, we know the name of the person that was involved” Attorney for Dinnan’s girlfriend, Myles Breiner said.

Attorney Myles Breiner has been hired by Dinnan’s girlfriend after another attorney decided not to take on the case.

With all these conflicting reports, flyers were posted around the neighborhood asking for witnesses to come forward.

Something the police union says is just a way to drum up business.

“End of the day the facts going to come out the truth will be told. You’ll never find anyone coming back to apologize for ruining this officers reputation through defamation,” SHOPO President, Tenari Maafala said.

Breiner says he has called for a third-party for independent investigation

“We asked the FBI to get involved because we don’t trust HPD to do a proper investigation,” Breiner said.

“As a police officer as a department, we got nothing to hide so be it let it be,” Maafala said.

The city says in the past three years, city lawyers handled 16 brutality and assault cases against HPD.

They were unable to comment on how many of these cases went to court and how many were settled.

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