Charles Kosi, Jr. died in February, and the Honolulu Medical Examiner ruled the "manner of death” to be a homicide, a finding that has outraged his family.
"They could have hurt him, but they didn't have to kill him," said the man's mother, Wanda Ishimine. "He left his mother behind, he left his father, he left his children behind, he left his brothers, his sister."
Ishimine said she’s even more angry at the fact that her son's autopsy findings were released to the media before they were released to her.
"I'm upset because I called them and they didn't give me the report. They said May," Ishimine said. "Wouldn't you be angry, that they tell you 'no, no, no' then all of a sudden, a channel calls them up and they give them the report? I think that's so wrong."
Airport officials say Kosi ran through a TSA security checkpoint and got onto the restricted area when he was tackled.
The medical examiner said the cause of Kosi's death was cardiac arrest caused by the physical struggle. The office said methamphetamine toxicity and pre-existing health issues also contributed to his death.
Sources say two Island Air employees and a private Securitas officer pinned him down on his stomach while another Securitas officer cuffed him and a deputy sheriff shackled his legs.
Deputy sheriffs did CPR, but sources say Kosi was on his stomach for about three minutes before they noticed he was unconscious.
"I don't have him anymore. That's my first born … he didn't need to die like that. Nobody needs to die like that. Nobody should bury their son before they die, no parent," Ishimine said. "So maybe the law did their job, but not the right way, they didn’t do it the right way. They didn’t have to kill him. It's a tragedy to me and to my family."
Legal experts say the family might have an uphill battle in trying to hold anyone accountable.
Even though the medical examiner ruled his death a homicide, attorneys say Kosi's drug use, pre-existing heart condition, and dangerous behavior would make it very difficult for his family to sue the people who grabbed him. That's because Kosi may have been more responsible for his death than they were.
"The injured person, the person who's bringing the lawsuit ... what comparatively they did to bring about the injury? And if you're comparatively negligent in this state more than 50-percent, you get nothing," said high-profile Honolulu attorney Michael Green.
Ishimine said she knows what her son did was wrong, but believes he didn’t deserve to die.
"I'm so sorry for what happened at the airport, I'm sorry for what happened. But give mercy on my son. It wasn't meant to be that it happened that way. They never had to torture him and kill him that way," she said.
State Department of Transportation officials said Kosi was still fighting to escape even after he was restrained.
Court documents show he was allowed out of prison to get drug treatment.
Kosi leaves behind his mother, father, nine siblings, seven children, and one granddaughter.