Family of man killed by Kauai police officer looks into lawsuit

Published: Feb. 23, 2012 at 2:32 AM HST|Updated: Feb. 23, 2012 at 8:54 AM HST
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Richard "Dickie" Louis
Richard "Dickie" Louis
Myles Breiner
Myles Breiner
Louis' home
Louis' home

OMAO (HawaiiNewsNow) - A week after the shooting of Richard "Dickie" Louis on Kauai, his family is planning a funeral and a lawsuit. He was wanted for failing to appear at his trial on theft, gun and drug charges. When authorities showed up last week to arrest him, Louis ended up on the roof of his home during a three-hour standoff.

"Based on the individuals that I've spoken to, Richard Louis was not a threat to the police. Richard Louis was defying the police," said attorney Myles Breiner.

According to police, when an officer pursued Louis, the 62-year-old Omao resident grabbed a metal object, made aggressive moves towards the officer, and threatened to kill him. The officer then fired his weapon. Louis died at the Queen's Medical Center early the next morning. While the shooting is under investigation, the Kauai Police Department said it appeared the officers involved acted appropriately.

"The best that they can say is there was a shiny object in his hand which after shooting him, they never recovered the shiny object and they had to go back 48 hours later to look for a shiny object, which we understand was never recovered," said Breiner.

A copy of the death certificate indicated Louis "forced police to shoot him."

"This is still an open investigation. There are numerous witnesses who need to be interviewed on both sides of the equation yet the Medical Examiner's Office has already concluded that this was essentially death by cop," said Breiner.

According to authorities, Louis had 32 prior arrests. Breiner said Louis had no previous convictions, and that police used excessive force in this case.

"I firmly believe that ultimately, Richard Louis will be vindicated," said Breiner. "His family will see their day in court and will find out what really happened with the Kauai Police Department."

The officer involved in the shooting has been placed on desk duty. A county spokesperson declined to say how long he has been with the force.

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