Law enforcement expert says Waikiki police shooting justified - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Law enforcement expert says Waikiki police shooting justified

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Thomas Aiu Thomas Aiu
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

A veteran law enforcement officer and professor of police management said Tuesday morning's fatal shooting by police officers of a suspect who was ramming police cars with his truck in Waikiki was justified.

"Every shooting situation is unique.  Every shooting situation has its own set of circumstances and this one appears to be fully justified," said retired Drug Enforcement Administration agent Thomas Aiu, who spent 26 years in a DEA career assigned to Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.

Aiu is now a professor at Chaminade University, where he teaches courses in law and law enforcement.  Aiu said he was involved in three shooting incidents during his law enforcement career at the DEA, Honolulu Police Department and as a criminal investigator for the State of Hawaii.  

Hawaii News Now showed Aiu video shot by a Waikiki resident of the shooting and he offered his analysis. 

"Here we can see the smoke burning from his tires as he reverses to hit the vehicle here, and then again, forward.  Shots are fired at this point.  It was necessary and imminent for the officers to take action to protect themselves or others at the scene," Aiu said. 

"It appeared that the subject rammed the patrol vehicles twice before shots were fired. So HPD officers did the prudent thing.  Probably ordered him out, probably ordered him to stop.  The subject failed to do that.  They fired to protect themselves or others in doing their duty," he said. 

Asked what's going through the officers' minds during an incident like this, he said, "Officers are worried about containment, first of all, they're also worried about cross fire.  So there has to be some direction given by the primary officer at the scene about who's going to take that shot. Because everyone cannot be shooting, otherwise other officers are going to be injured also."

 

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