As officers heard murder case against them, hundreds rallied outside to ‘free dah 3′
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hundreds turned out for a rally Tuesday outside District Court to support the three officers charged in the shooting death of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap.
The rally ― along with a convoy through Waikiki and Downtown Honolulu ― came before a state judge rejected the three officers’ motion to dismiss the criminal charges against them.
Supporters chanted “free dah 3″ and wore “support our officers” shirts.
In the case, Officer Geoffrey Thom is charged with second-degree murder, while officers Zackary Ah Nee and Christopher Fredeluces face second-degree attempted murder charges.
They are not in custody as the preliminary hearing in the case continues.
Retired Honolulu Police Officer Herb Schreiner came out to support the three.
“I’m here to support the police,” he said. “The people nowadays don’t know what it is like to be a cop. These officers did a great job of stopping a very dangerous situation and therefore we should be here.”
Wendy Talaroc, the mother of a police officer, said she also supports the officers.
“All the police officers want to be out there, you know to protect the people, so that’s why they deserve us to come out for them because they’re out there for us every single day,” she said.
A smaller group of police critics also demonstrated outside the courthouse.
“I think it’s important to stand up and represent that the police are not above the law -- that the police should not be engaged in extra-judicial killings,” said Ilima DeCosta.
Added Rocio Tapia:
“There needs to be transparency and accountability. People are being killed. Micronesians are being targeted and attacked and people of color are being attacked and it needs to stop.”
The rally in support of the officers was preceded by a convoy, which started in Kakaako and continued through Waikiki and past the Honolulu Police Department’s main station.
Honolulu District Court was the final stop for the caravan, but it was the beginning of the legal challenges for the case against the three officers.
“Of course we’re looking for a dismissal but we know that’s probably not going to happen and it’s probably going to be a long journey for the officers,” said Malcolm Lutu, president of the State of Hawaii Organization of Police Officers, before the judge made his ruling.
“And we want them to know we will be here the whole time for them.”
Before witnesses took the stand on Tuesday, the judge denied the motion to dismiss the case and the motion to disqualify the deputy prosecutor.
“The judge didn’t grant either of those is a big win for justice,” said Community Activist, Lesley Gabrielle. “It’s a big win for baby, it’s a big win for the Sykap family.”
“This block was filled with supporters of the police and you had a small percentage going in opposition,” said Back Dah Blue Supporter, Renee Davis. “Why keep backing the small opposition?
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