HPD defends decision to withhold body cam video of police shooting that left 16-year-old dead

Updated: Apr. 21, 2021 at 9:46 PM HST
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HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Police Department on Wednesday once again defended the actions taken when officers shot and killed 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap.

The incident happened on April 5 in McCully, following a crime spree and a police chase.

HPD Deputy Chief Aaron Takasaki-Young told the Honolulu Police Commission Wednesday that officers saw a weapon in the stolen vehicle Sykap was driving.

It turned out to be replica, and not a real gun.

“I would say, you know, for people that are presented with the use of a replica firearm, for any citizen, you probably wouldn’t be able to tell the difference whether that firearm was real or not,” Takasaki-Young said.

He also said that officers had to react as if the weapon were real.

“If somebody came up to you at gunpoint, I don’t think their first intention is going to be ‘is this real or not?’ Their normal reaction is going to be ‘this is a real incident, and my life is in jeopardy.’”

Commissioners also questioned why HPD is not releasing police body camera footage in the Sykap shooting. Takasaki-Young said it’s because three surviving juveniles are still being investigated for crimes that led up to the shooting.

If they are not charged, the department may consider releasing the body cam footage.

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