Another HPD officer involved in chase, crash asks for taxpayer-funded legal defense
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu Police Commission wants more information before deciding if taxpayers should pay the legal bills for a third officer involved in a crash that seriously injured six people.
Officer Joshua Nahulu is part of three civil lawsuits that stem from the Sept. 12, 2021 incident in which he and two other officers, Jake Bartolome and Erik Smith, are accused of improperly chasing a white sedan before the driver crashed in Makaha.
Instead of stopping to help the patients, witnesses said the officers left the scene, returning after the 911 calls came in.
Police commissioners approved civil attorneys for Bartolome and Smith last month, but that vote was close ― with four commissioner in favor and three opposed.
The panel Wednesday voted for a contested case hearing, seeking more information on Nahulu’s involvement, against the advice of city attorneys.
“I don’t support this recommendation,” said Commissioner Richard Parry.
Both criminal and administrative investigations are still pending, and the officers remain on desk duty.
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