Taxpayers to fund defense team for officers who fatally shot Lindani Myeni
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Police Commission approved taxpayer funds to cover the legal bills for two HPD officers who killed a man in Nuuanu last year.
Trial for officers Garrick Orosco and Brent Sylvester is set for September.
The two are being sued by the family of Lindani Myeni, the South African man who was shot and killed last April after he walked into a stranger’s home.
Commissioners said the law requires them to fund the officers’ defense team.
“I’m not sure we have a great deal of choice here,” said Commissioner Richard Parry.
Legal expert Megan Kau agreed. “If they’re acting in the course and scope of their duties,” Kau said.
Body camera videos of the incident show the 29-year old Myeni overpowering the older officers who responded to the burglary call.
One officer deployed a Taser but it didn’t stop Myeni, who was then shot multiple times.
Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm concluded the shooting was justified and cleared the officers of criminal charges.
Myeni’s wife filed a civil lawsuit claiming negligence.
The police commission did not discuss the issue for long before they voted unanimously in favor of the motion.
Kau said the total cost to defend the officers could be upwards of a quarter of a million dollars after the trial.
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