HPD Chief upsets women's caucus by cancelling domestic violence meeting

HPD Chief upsets women's caucus by canceling domestic violence meeting

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A Honolulu Police Sergeant seen on video punching his girlfriend could be charged by the end week according to sources.  This as the Honolulu Police Department cancels a meeting with State and City lawmakers regarding domestic violence.

We're told the HPD administration will be meeting with the prosecutor Thursday morning. There will be one more review of the evidence and a decision on charging Sgt. Cachola could come soon thereafter.

If charges are filed it will likely be misdemeanor assault not a felony since his girlfriend didn't have any visible injuries.

Meanwhile the 26 members of the Hawaii Women's State Legislative Caucus aren't happy with HPD and its attitude toward domestic violence.

"It's a worry to me that the Chief of Police can't take half an hour or 40 minutes to sit down with the women leaders in government," said State Senator Laura Thielen, (D) Hawaii Women's Legislative Caucus member.

They say Chief Kealoha and the administration has cancelled Thursday afternoon's scheduled meeting with the group, which is demanding to know HPD's policies regarding domestic violence, especially when one of their own is involved.  Now they say cancelling the meeting sends the wrong message.

"Many of us rearranged our schedules to suit the Police Chief's requested meeting date and time.  We are disappointed at his unexpected cancellation," said Donna Mercado Kim, (D) State Senate President, in a written statement.  "We sincerely hope this is not a sign of the lack of importance the department places on the issue of domestic violence.  But it's perplexing to us why he would cancel such an important meeting with so many women leaders."

"It raises a lot of concerns for me. I'm still kind of adjusting to it because I've had a couple phone calls with the Chief's office and I am frankly concerned that they are not taking the issue seriously," said Sen. Thielen.

Senator Thielen says she was told the Chief cancelled the meeting because of a scheduling conflict, although she points out it was the Chief who set the date and time.

HPD says it thought the meeting was only with Senator Thielen, not the entire caucus.  It also says there will be an informational briefing at the State Capitol in two weeks.

"Yesterday we were notified by the chairman of the Public Safety, Intergovernmental and Military Affairs that there would be an informational hearing on domestic violence on September 30 at the State Capitol. We postponed the meeting with Senator Thielen because those who were notified included several members of the Women's Caucus, including Senator Thielen, and we want to address everyone at the same time," said Teresa Bell, in a written response from HPD. "When requesting the appointment with the Chief, Senator Thielen did not mention that other members of the Women's Caucus would be at the meeting. We have offered to meet with Senator Thielen and the Women's Caucus after the informational hearing."

Sen. Thielen says she explained numerous times with two Deputy Chief's and the Chief's secretary that the caucus members would be in attendance at the meeting.

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