EXCLUSIVE: Suspension lifted for HPD officer involved in police brutality case

EXCLUSIVE: Suspension lifted for HPD officer involved in police brutality case

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The FBI and Internal affairs investigation into a police brutality case continues but sources tell me, Honolulu Police Officer Vince Morre is already back at work.

Morre is seen on video, only obtained by Hawaii News Now, punching, kicking, and then throwing a chair at a man on September 5th at a game room near Ala Moana.

The unprovoked attack left the 25-year old victim with staples in his head and a broken bone in his hand.  It also left Morre on unpaid leave, something the department doesn't do often.

But civil service rules allow an employee to return to work and collect a pay check again after 30 days. There is one exception, if the administration extends that leave.  HPD did do that in this case, extending the status to 60 days, but that is the maximum, so the department had no choice but to allow Morre to return.  He is on desk duty and has had his police powers removed.

There is another option, fire him.  By procedure the department doesn't fire officers before investigations are complete, because they can often get their jobs back with back pay.

Both the FBI and internal investigations could take upwards of six months...

"They won't rush to judgement," says law enforcement expert Tommy Aiu.

Aiu, a former federal agent, says these cases have to be approved by the main office in Washington D.C. and sometimes an attorney from D.C. is brought in.

While the surveillance video may seem like overwhelming and indisputable evidence, Aiu says it's not the only evidence to consider.

"There's so much more than what we just have on video.  Video is sometimes (just) corroborating evidence."

He says eye witnesses will all be interviewed too.

Another officer who was there, Nelson Tamayori, was also placed on leave without pay for not stopping the attack.  He is also expected to return to work soon.

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