New body cam video shows bizarre encounter before fatal police shooting in Nuuanu

Published: Oct. 12, 2021 at 5:43 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 15, 2021 at 1:41 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The bizarre behavior of a man later shot by Honolulu police was documented on a body camera video obtained by Hawaii News Now.

On April 14, an hour before a fight with police officers in Nuuanu, Lindani Myeni had a strange encounter with police in the parking lot of Kewalo Basin. Several officers were responding to a report of a car break in. Myeni had nothing to do with this case, but happened to be there.

The body camera video starts with an officer who just arrived on scene about 7:40 p.m. He is startled because Myeni tries to get into the patrol car.

“I was walking this way and I thought I should get in. I thought wrong, I’m sorry,” Myeni said to the officer, who asks him to get away from the car. The officer and Myeni are both polite and respectful throughout the exchange, which lasts about three minutes.

After the officer exists the car, Myeni walks up to him.

“Can I help you?” the officer asked.

“I was driven by a car and got me here,” Myeni answered.

The officer then asks Myeni to back up 6 feet because he is not wearing a mask.

Body camera video of encounter with Lindani Myeni at Kewalo Basin
Body camera video of encounter with Lindani Myeni at Kewalo Basin(Honolulu Police Department)

Myeni goes to his car to retrieve a face mask.

The strange encounter gets even more puzzling when Myeni returns.

“Do you need help with something?” the officer asked.

“I need to find a boat or some way to meet people,” Myeni answered.

He said he was looking for someone but the Honolulu Police Department bleeped out the name he said on the video.

The officer seems confused, asking if he can call that person. Myeni grabs his phone and starts dialing, as he walks away.

As the officer turns his attention back to the others working the car break-in, Myeni drives up and engages with the officer again.

“Bye. Thank you,” he said, as he waved.

The officer waved back and shouted, “OK, thank you.”

The officer made a miscellaneous report about the encounter.

According to city Prosecutor Steve Alm, GPS showed Myeni then drove to a Nuuanu home. A woman who lived at that home called 911 to report an unknown man entered her residence.

Body camera videos of that response by officers were released by HPD days after the shooting.

Myeni can be seen walking toward one officer who has his gun pointed and repeatedly tells Myeni to get on the ground. Myeni, physically bigger and stronger, injured all three officers before he was hit with a Taser and then fatally shot.

Months later, Alm called a news conference and said the combination of body camera videos from the scene plus the video from Kewalo Basin led him to conclude the shooting by HPD was justified.

“He was not intimidated in any way about going up to a police investigation,” Alm said, about Myeni’s interrupting the car break in response.

“I’m not a mental health professional but from this layperson’s perspective, several of his statements and actions were strange, even bizarre,” Alm said.

The city Medical Examiner reported that marijuana was found in Myeni’s blood.

The attorney for Myeni’s family, James Bickerton, declined to comment for this story. He said he was waiting for HPD to turn over the unredacted version of the Kewalo Basin body camera video.

The video is dated April 15, a day after the shooting because HPD said it is recorded on Greenwich Mean Time.

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