HPD chief fires back over sergeant investigation

Protecting your rights.

That’s what Honolulu’s police chief said he’s doing by conducting a full investigation involving one of his own.

Chief Louis Kealoha had strong words for his critics during a news conference on Thursday. He discussed the department’s domestic violence policy and procedures.

He also talked briefly about the investigation involving a sergeant who was videotaped assaulting a woman.

“If people want me to cave in and compromise the integrity of the department and the integrity of the men and women of the Honolulu Police Department, I’m not going to do that,” he said.

The chief stood his ground when addressing the investigation of the HPD sergeant seen hitting a woman at a restaurant in Waipahu. The video was sent to the department and KHON2 News last week and since then, lawmakers, attorneys, and the public have criticized and questioned the police department.

“If you want me to crumble under public and political pressure, if you want me to move away and compromise of the department and deviate from our policies, then I am not your chief,” he said.

The sergeant has not been arrested, but HPD continues its investigation, on an administrative and criminal level.

Kealoha didn’t say too much about the investigation involving this incident, but he did say they are expediting the process.

He said detectives are working 24/7, seeking witnesses and gathering more evidence.

“People think that they can send us an edited copy of a video, and go out and arrest people. That’s unacceptable, because that can be any one of you. That’s what I’m standing up here for, to protect your rights.”

The chief also shared policy and procedures for employees involved in domestic violence, which was last updated 11 years ago.

It includes calling the supervisor to the scene, notifying the criminal investigation section, and preparing written reports.

Kealoha also talked about cancelling today’s meeting with the Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus to discuss these procedures. He said he thought he was meeting with one or two of them and found out later, it was the entire caucus.

“We need some time to develop an agenda,” he said. “The other thing is I thought it was going to be in my office. I cannot hold 20 people in my office.”

The chief also said after HPD completes its investigation, he would like to show the press the details of the case to learn exactly what they did.

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