HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -
Major changes could be coming to a specialized unit in the Honolulu Police Department after a game room beating by an officer. Exclusive surveillance video shows Officer Vince Morre slapping, punching, and kicking two men in the game room near Ala Moana on September 5. Neither provoked the officer or resisted.
Officer Morre is part of the department's Crime Reduction Unit, or CRU.
Two other CRU members witnessed the attack and did nothing.
Officer Morre is now on unpaid leave and under investigation by the FBI for the beating, but the whole unit, is now jeopardy because of it.
"We want the commanders to re-evaluate and justify their criminal reduction units, the amount of personnel," says Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha "We might even go to the direction of reducing it and even to the point where we may eliminate the CRU units but we're still evaluating that."
But law enforcement expert and former federal agent Tommy Aiu says the squads are a benefit.
"A crime reduction unit uses specialized techniques, they use cooperating individuals, they're very proactive in thwarting all types of crime," says Aiu.
CRU officers wear street clothes and use unmarked cars which help them track suspects.
They have made several high-profile arrests over the years and recently they've helped take down suspected serial bank robbers and an OCCC escapee.
Aiu hopes the action of Morre and the two other officers with him that day, don't force HPD to disband the group.
He hopes Chief Kealoha will consider rotating out officers after several years, or just force them to undergo more training.