UPDATE: The Honolulu Police Department posted a statement on their official Facebook page that they have decided to incorporate the video into its training.
“Based on community support and feedback, HPD has decided to incorporate the video into its training curriculum for officers and recruits. The earlier decision not to use the video was based on concerns that some of the ex-officers’ comments were of a highly personal nature. In light of the video being made public, the department plans to use the video for future training.” – Honolulu Police Department Facebook page
For the first time, we’re hearing from a former Honolulu Police Department officer who was caught on surveillance video assaulting two men in a game room.
His interview is included in a video that the Honolulu Police Department ended up scrapping.
In September 2014, Vincent Morre was seen hitting and kicking two men in a game room on Hopaka Street.
In the video, Morre explains his feelings and actions to a HPD captain. Morre talked about searching for a fugitive in a game room numerous times, frustrated that he kept missing him by minutes.
“In my head, either this guy is messing with me or somebody’s lying to me and it’s pissing me off,” he said.
The day of the assault, Morre said he went back to the game room.
“So I walked inside and everybody’s ignoring me,” he said. “You know, the frustration, everything just build up to it, not just that day, but every day I’ve been looking for this guy, so I just lost it. I’m not going to justify my action, but I lost it.”
Former HPD corporal Nelson Tamayori was also in the game room, and in the video.
“I instantly felt sick to my stomach. I literally felt the blood draining from my head. I couldn’t think. I didn’t know what to do,” Tamayori said.
Tamayori talked about why he didn’t intervene. He said he was concerned about how it could affect his working conditions.
“Whether people would trust me, working with me after, if I would get backup when I needed it,” Tamayori said.
KHON2 showed Sen. Will Espero the video. He said it seemed as if Morre was justifying his actions.
“(He says) here’s what was happening. Here’s what was happening. This is how I felt. I didn’t hear a ‘I’m sorry for doing this,'” Espero said.
KHON2 also showed the video to Ken Lawson, a University of Hawaii criminal Law professor and former attorney.
Lawson said he thinks it’s a good video “because I think the officers are being extremely honest.”
KHON2 contacted HPD to find out more information about the video, but a spokesperson said the department no longer had a copy of it.
“It was originally intended as a possible training tool for recruits and officers. After reviewing the finished video and further discussion, however, the department decided not to use it,” the department said in a statement.
Espero thinks the video shows more training is needed, so officers know how to handle themselves. Lawson believes the video could have been a valuable training tool.
“I just hope somebody out there, whoever watches this video, you get to that point, you get real pissed off, you think back, Officer Morre, you know what, that (expletive) stuck in my head. Keep it in your head,” Morre said.
Tamayori and Joe Becera, a reserve officer who was also in the game room, both pleaded guilty to federal charges.