Honolulu Police Officer Is Charged With Murder in the Shooting of a 16-Year-Old

A Honolulu police officer has been charged with second-degree homicide in what prosecutors referred to as the unjustified deadly taking pictures of a 16-year-old boy after a high-speed chase in April. Two different officers have been charged with second-degree tried homicide for his or her roles in the confrontation.

The costs have been introduced on Tuesday by prosecutors in Honolulu, lower than a week after a grand jury had declined to indict the officers in reference to their actions main as much as the loss of life of Iremamber Sykap on April 5.

“The evidence supports the conclusion that the defendants’ use of deadly force in this case was unnecessary, unreasonable, and unjustified under the law,” Christopher T. Van Marter, a deputy prosecuting legal professional, wrote in a legal criticism.

Prosecutors mentioned that Geoffrey H.L. Thom, the officer charged with second-degree homicide, had fired 10 photographs “without provocation” into the rear window of a Honda pushed by Iremamber, hitting him eight instances.

Iremamber died shortly after the taking pictures, in response to prosecutors, who mentioned that one of the bullets fired by Officer Thom had pierced Iremamber’s aorta and one other had fractured his backbone and that one of the bullets had pierced his lung, inflicting excessive inside bleeding.

Iremamber’s brother, Mark Sykap, who was in the entrance passenger seat, was struck in the proper shoulder and the left hand when the officers opened hearth, a legal criticism mentioned. He survived.

The taking pictures occurred after a high-speed chase, in response to investigators, who mentioned that the automotive had been idling on a metropolis road when three officers opened hearth. The police mentioned that the automotive had been reported stolen two days earlier and had been linked to an armed theft, a purse snatching and a theft.

The gearshift lever of the automotive was nonetheless in the drive place when Iremamber was shot, and the car struck an empty patrol automotive, climbed onto the sidewalk, went via a fence and landed in a canal about 10 toes beneath road degree, investigators mentioned.

Prosecutors mentioned that Officer Thom had written in a police report that the Honda had rammed his patrol automotive and had reversed towards him. But physique digicam footage, they mentioned, contradicted these statements. His patrol automotive had a few minor paint chips and scuff marks, a legal criticism mentioned.

Officer Thom, 42, a five-year veteran of the Honolulu Police Department, didn’t instantly reply to a telephone message on Wednesday requesting remark. It was not clear if he had a lawyer.

The two officers who have been charged with second-degree tried homicide have been recognized by prosecutors as Zackary Okay. Ah Nee and Christopher J. Fredeluces.

Prosecutors mentioned that Officer Ah Nee, 26, a three-year police veteran, had fired 4 photographs with out provocation towards the passenger aspect of the Honda after it struck his empty patrol automotive. Two of these photographs hit Iremamber’s brother, in response to a legal criticism.

Officer Ah Nee wrote in his report that he thought he had seen the butt of a firearm in the lap of the front-seat passenger, however physique digicam footage contradicted his account, the legal criticism mentioned.

A message looking for remark from Officer Ah Nee was left with a one that answered the telephone at his house on Wednesday. It was not clear if he had a lawyer.

Prosecutors mentioned that Officer Fredeluces, 40, a 10-year veteran of the Police Department, had fired one spherical from his Glock 9-millimeter pistol into the driver’s aspect door of the Honda, however the bullet didn’t strike Iremamber.

Officer Fredeluces couldn’t instantly be reached for touch upon Wednesday.

If convicted, all three officers would face necessary sentences of life in jail and can be eligible for parole solely after serving 20 years as a result of semiautomatic firearms have been used in the taking pictures.

Their police powers have been eliminated, in response to the Honolulu Police Department, which mentioned that that they had been positioned on desk responsibility.

The choice to cost the three officers perplexed Honolulu’s interim police chief, Rade Vanic.

“We are surprised by the prosecuting attorney’s announcement to seek charges against the officers after a grand jury comprised of citizens decided not to indict them,” Chief Vanic mentioned in a assertion. “This is highly unusual, and we are not aware of a similar action having been taken in the past.”

Matt Dvonch, particular counsel to the Honolulu prosecutor, Steven S. Alm, mentioned in an interview on Wednesday that it was not the first time that the workplace had requested a choose to find out if there was possible trigger after a grand jury didn’t return an indictment.

“It is not that common,” he mentioned, “but it does happen on occasion.”

Eric Seitz, a lawyer for the Sykap household, was not instantly obtainable for touch upon Wednesday, however he informed The Associated Press on Tuesday that he was gratified that prosecutors have been pursuing the case.

“We have suspected from the beginning, when we began to get information about how the events unfolded, that the shooting was entirely unjustified,” he mentioned. “Now that we’ve seen the further evidence that’s contained and attached to the charges, there’s no question in our minds that this was an event that could have been — and should have been — prevented.”

In May, the Sykap household filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in opposition to the metropolis of Honolulu and the officers who have been concerned in the taking pictures.

The head of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Wednesday, however in a assertion to The Associated Press on Tuesday, he voiced help for the officers.

“We continue to trust the process and will continue to stand by our officers,” mentioned Malcolm Lutu, the union’s president.

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