Embattled city prosecutor was denied access to officer-involved shooting scene

Embattled city prosecutor was denied access to officer-involved shooting scene

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Embattled city Prosecutor Keith Kaneshiro was denied his usual crime scene access in Mililani on Wednesday night after HPD officers shot and killed a 26-year old man.

Police blocked off the scene where the shooting happened.
Police blocked off the scene where the shooting happened. (Source: Hawaii News Now)

Kaneshiro usually responds to officer-involved shootings as part of his office’s review process.

But sources say patrol officers turned Kaneshiro, who is the target of a federal investigation, and his team around when they arrived in Mililani. The order came from HPD administration.

In December, HPD Chief Susan Ballard expressed concern about being with Kaneshiro in meetings after HNN confirmed he had received a target letter from the U.S. Justice Department.

“It’s not personal," she said, at the time, “but I would have a very difficult time talking about confidential information in front of anybody who is under federal investigation."

A widening federal probe has already snagged his former high-ranking deputy prosecutor, Katherine Kealoha.

And last week, state Attorney General Clare Connors called for Kaneshiro to be suspended until the federal case is complete, appealing to the Hawaii Supreme Court to intervene.

HPD did confirm to Hawaii News Now that the agency is now reviewing the policy that determines who has access to crime scenes.

There are multiple layers of review when an officer shoots and kills someone.

It begins with an internal HPD investigation, which is then evaluated by both the city Prosecutor’s Office and the Attorney General’s Review Board.

That process will remain the same for police shootings. The state Attorney General’s Office waits to evaluate the internal investigation and Kaneshiro’s office will now have to wait, too.

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