Council member: Body cam video of Larry Ellison traffic stop shows no one ‘above the law’
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Billionaire Larry Ellison was pulled over last year for a variety of traffic violations on Lanai, the island he owns.
Police body camera video obtained by Hawaii News Now shows Ellison in his orange Corvette on Manele Road, near mile marker 8, last October. The time was 6:36 p.m.
The officer approached the convertible sports car. Both were friendly and respectable.
- Officer: The reason I stopped you is you ran through the stop sign and you were kind of speeding there.
- Ellison: If I was, I’m sorry.
- Officer: Any reason why in particular?
- Ellison: It was ... I was trying to get home for dinner with my kids, but there’s no excuse. There’s no good excuse.
- Officer: OK, cool. Can I see your driver’s license, registration and insurance, please.
After searching for about two minutes, Ellison told the officer he did not have his driver’s license on him either.
The Maui Police Department blurred Ellison’s face in the video that was released to Hawaii News Now. A spokesperson said that is standard procedure.
The traffic stop is a unique situation because Ellison owns 98% of Lanai.
Maui County Councilman Gabe Johnson, who represents and lives on Lanai, said it is not easy for people there to confront the landlord.
He credited the officer for doing so.
“Nice job, MPD,” Johnson said.
“Some communities, as we all know, have let the elite just, you know, run wild.”
He added the traffic stop shows no one, not even the island’s landlord, is above the law.
Johnson, a vocal critic of some of Ellison’s projects and behavior, said this was the latest in a series of issues last year for the billionaire.
Just a few weeks before that traffic stop, Ellison’s company was accused of locking a gate that blocked local access to Hulopoe Beach Park, near his Four Seasons resort.
The gate was locked for 12 days until residents demanded it be open.
Johnson said state law requires beach access be provided, no matter who owns the land.
“We still have rights,” Johnson said, adding that Native Hawaiians on Lanai use the beach for cultural practices, which need to be respected.
The officer in the traffic stop cited Ellison, who did not challenge the case.
Hawaii News Now did ask Ellison’s company, Pulama Lanai, for comment from the billionaire. A representative said they did not want to participate in the story.
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