Media Probe Into Honolulu Police Misconduct Finds Weekly Suspensions or Firings


Eighteen years ago former Hawaii Gov. Ben Cayetano let bad cops off the hook when he allowed county police officers who got in trouble to remain anonymous. Now he says granting that secrecy was a mistake, reports Honolulu’s Civil Beat in the last of a 5-part series. Cayetano is not alone in concluding that keeping police misconduct records secret may have been a bad idea. Former legislators, government watchdogs, and even cops say hiding this information has led to problems. Some lawmakers are surprised by the nature and extent of misconduct that is coming to their attention through Civil Beat’s investigative series, In The Name Of The Law. An analysis of Honolulu Police Department misconduct summaries over 13 years found that police officers are suspended or discharged about once a week on average, a rate that is troubling to lawmakers and others. Few are fired, even if they've been convicted of a crime. Prosecutors rarely pursue independent action against police officers. They take the cases sent to them by the department, but that's about it.

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