Council OKs first settlement in police chase that prompted felony probe

“This is one of the most clear-cut cases there is of liability on the part of the officers violating policy and violating criminal law.”
Published: Feb. 22, 2023 at 5:42 PM HST|Updated: Feb. 22, 2023 at 9:14 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - The Honolulu City Council approved a settlement Wednesday that gives $4.5 million to four passengers and their families for a crash that involved three HPD officers in September 2021.

It’s the first of three lawsuits to settle in the case.

The four passengers were critically hurt when the Honda sedan they were in crashed in Makaha.

Three HPD officers are still on restricted duty for allegedly chasing the car ― without activating police lights or sirens ― then failing to stop and render aid.

Settlement reached for 4 injured in high-speed police chase

According to sources, GPS shows they returned to the scene after the ambulances arrived.

Attorney Michael Stern represents the four families who settled.

“I have one young client, his eye is permanently damaged,” Stern said, adding that boy is a juvenile.

The other clients have broken bones in their spine.

The two other pending lawsuits were filed by the driver of the car, who was in a coma for weeks, and another passenger, a teen who was paralyzed in the crash. Those two cases are expected to cost taxpayers even more.

Body camera videos obtained by Hawaii News Now show Officers Joshua Nahulu, Erik Smith and Jake Bartolome at the scene trying to get information from witnesses.

The Honolulu Prosecutor’s Office is looking at possible felony charges against the officers.

While the settlement releases the city in the lawsuit, the officers could still be on the hook for more.