Honolulu Police Commission nominees voice support for more transparency, reforms

Updated: Jun. 8, 2020 at 12:28 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The mayor’s two nominees for the Honolulu Police Commission voiced support Monday for more transparency at HPD ― including around officers accused of misconduct ― and a review of policies on chokeholds and shooting at moving cars.

At a news conference Monday, Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell announced the nominees:

  • YMCA President and CEO Michael Broderick, a former family court judge
  • And former state Attorney General Doug Chin

Their nominations now go to the Honolulu City Council.

Amid protests nationally and locally calling for police reform, both nominees expressed strong support for a thorough review of Honolulu Police Department policies.

They also said the volunteer body needs to look at training for HPD recruits and commit to a culture of transparency.

“I think if there’s any lesson that we’ve learned it’s how important transparency matters to be able to hold people accountable,” Chin said, at the news conference. “It’s been a very difficult time but I know that through everything that has been happening there is what I believe is a sea change.”

Broderick pointed to the eight demands of police departments from Black Lives Matter and said the Honolulu Police Department currently has four on the books.

He said he’d support a review of why the other four aren’t currently HPD policy.

One of those that isn’t: A ban on chokeholds and strangleholds.

At the news conference, the mayor also supported more transparency at HPD but said he would not support defunding the police department ― something that’s become a rallying cry in some cities.

He said the department is actually getting a budget boost, despite the COVID-19 crisis, and added some of those monies are going to body cams.

“The Honolulu Police Department protects all of us. They are the guardians of all of us,” he said.

Caldwell did say he also supports more transparency at the police department, which has been criticized in the past for how it handles officer discipline behind closed doors.

Broderick noted that the officer charged with murder in George Floyd’s death had a history of complaints against him but remained on the force.

“It’s my assumption that never could have happened in the Honolulu Police Department,” he said.

Broderick and Chin are replacing two vocal members of the commission who resigned: Attorney and former federal prosecutor Loretta Sheehan and former Hawaii Supreme Court associate Justice Steve Levinson. Both had expressed frustration about the capacity of the commission to make change.

The commission is a voluntary board whose chief duty is to hire and evaluate the police chief.

They also have the power to fire the chief, something that Broderick believes can prove central to effecting reforms. But, he said, his first order of duty if confirmed is to “go in an listen a lot.”

There is one more vacancy on the commission that has not yet been filled. The mayor said the prospective nominee for that seat is still being vetted.

This story will be updated.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.