Honolulu officers cleared of internal violations in fatal shooting of 16-year-old

A grand jury refused to indict the officers on murder and attempted murder charges last summer.
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 5:37 PM HST|Updated: Oct. 26, 2022 at 6:36 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The three Honolulu police officers who fatally shot teen robbery suspect Iremamber Sykap last year won’t face discipline from the department, Hawaii News Now has learned.

Officers Geoffrey Thom, Christopher Fredeluces and Zackary Ah Nee have not been officially notified about the decision by the administrative review board but that is expected to come in the form of a letter, their attorneys said.

“Such a relief for my client,” said Crystal Glendon, who represented Fredeluces during the criminal proceedings.

A grand jury refused to indict the officers on murder and attempted murder charges last summer and a district court judge found “no probable cause” to send the case to trial.

“They acted in a very heated situation, and made the right decision,” said Tommy Otake, Ah Nee’s attorney.

The officers shot the 16-year-old at Kalakaua Avenue and Philip Street in McCully after a pursuit stemming from a series of car thefts and a reported home invasion involving a gun.

The administrative review board examines the case for internal policy violations.

“It was within their training and policies and procedures,” Glendon said.

The officers were allowed to return to the streets after the criminal cases ended but while the internal investigation continued. The next step: The Pursuit Review Board will evaluate the officers actions during the chase.

Otake believes that investigation will yield the same results.

“They followed their training, they followed procedures.”

Even if the pursuit board finds violations, disciplinary action at that point would be considered minor.

The officers are part of a civil lawsuit filed by the family of Sykap, citing wrongful death.

Hawaii News Now did contact Eric Seitz, the attorney for the Sykap family, on Wednesday for comment. Seitz was in court all day and said he had not heard about the internal investigation results.

In previous interviews, Seitz called it an “execution” by the officers and said he expected the department would clear them in internal reviews.