Lawmaker pushes for investigation into murder on steps of Kapolei police station

A murder in front of the Kapolei Police station last month is prompting new calls for an investigation into why the suspect in the case was allowed to go free.
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 4:59 PM HST|Updated: Mar. 17, 2022 at 5:02 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A murder on the steps of the Kapolei Police station last month is prompting new calls for an investigation into why the suspect in the case was allowed to go free after punching a police officer the day prior.

Representative Gene Ward says he wants a complete investigation into Michael Armstrong’s release.

Everything from the way HPD handled the case to the prosecutor’s involvement. He’s even calling on the state Attorney General to answer questions.

“You got to figure out why it happened and how to prevent it from happening again,” Ward said.

It’s the reason the Hawaii Kai Representative authored a three-page resolution, attempting get to the bottom of why Armstrong was free to begin with.

“Why would you let him go,” Ward asked. “That’s a matter of judgment. That’s a matter of leadership.”

Minutes before the murder, the 35-year-old who suffers from mental illness, was released from jail for another violent crime.

Prosecutors and police said they ran out of time to charge Armstrong with a felony.

Ward responded, “What we’re doing is endangering the public. And this woman being bludgeoned to death in Kapolei is proof of that.”

Even the suspect’s father agrees he should have never been allowed back on the street.

“It can’t go on like this. And excuses have to end,” said Tony Armstrong.

He says the appropriate thing to do would have been to admit Armstrong to the State Hospital.

“If we’re going to stay a civil society we have to stay civil,” Tony Armstrong said. “And the way our streets and government is run, it’s anything but civil. It’s so dysfunctional and disorganized. I don’t want to hear this anymore. Oh, the system is broken. No, fix the problems.”

Ward added, “We’ve got to prioritize safety in a way we’ve never done before.”

He is now calling on his colleagues for support.

If passed the resolution would urge HPD, the prosecutors office and the state attorney general to investigate it’s handing of the case.

“The point is all of them should put their heads together. Find out what happened and how they can prevent it from happening again in the future,” Ward said.

Even if passed by the legislature, law enforcement authorities could refuse to do the investigation. That’s because resolutions are more like suggestions and don’t have the force of law.

Meanwhile, plans for a farewell service have been announced for Linda Johnson.

The public is welcome to attend at 5:30 Sunday evening on March 27 at Magic Island Beach Park.

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