Wednesday, December 8, 2021
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Thursday, December 26, 2019
Mauna Kea Protest Shows Need for a Return to Elected County Sheriffs
By Andrew Walden @ 1:10 PM :: 4811 Views :: Hawaii County , Greenmail, Hawaii History, OHA, Police

by Andrew Walden

Politics.

For 18 weeks, police have been held back from enforcing the law as protesters funded by the State of Hawai’i Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) block telescope construction on Mauna Kea.

The problem is that Hawai’i County Police are beholden to Mayor Harry Kim.  Kim’s support for the protesters translated into a refusal to allow police to clear the road for telescope construction to begin.

It doesn’t have to be this way. 

Each of Hawai’i's four county police chiefs are appointed by their respective county police commissions who are in turn appointees of the Mayor.

But in 46 of the 50 United States, independently elected county sheriffs are the norm.  These Sheriffs have to answer to the voters, not to the mayor and thereby are less likely to allow their own departments to become pawns in support of unpopular protest movements—even when the County Mayor is with the protesters.

The abolition of Hawai’i’s elected sheriffs flows directly from the infamous 1931 Massie Rape Case

In 1905, four county governments were established in the Territory of Hawaii. Each had its own police department headed by an elected sheriff.  But, under pressure from the military after the Massie case, in 1932 the elected Honolulu Sheriff was replaced by a Police Chief appointed by a Police Commission which at the time was appointed by the Territorial Governor who himself was appointed by the US President. 

Other counties eventually followed suit.  According to the Maui County PD website, “The Sheriff's position was abolished in 1939 and a Police Commission was established and given the power to appoint a Chief of Police.”  The elected Hawai’i County and Kaua’i County Sheriffs were abolished and replaced with appointed Police Chiefs only in 1943—during WW2 while Hawai’i was under martial law.

Hawai’i’s original County Sheriffs were abolished to separate law enforcement from the will of people not trusted by military authorities—‘locals’ after the Massie case, Japanese after Pearl Harbor. 

Flash forward 76 years. 

It is not the military, but OHA, that fears the will of the people.

Political interference is the only reason the unpopular telescope protesters have been successful.

The will of the people—that the protesters be pushed aside--is being thwarted because we lack elected County Sheriffs.

The State of Hawai’i Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) President Malcolm Lutu tells HNN August 12, 2019 police plans to arrest TMT protesters were disrupted by ‘politics’.  Says Lutu, “I think if they kept to the original plan, it probably would have been solved already." 

In the same HNN report, Sgt. James “Kimo” Smith of the Honolulu Police Department explains:

“We were going to clear the road (on the third day of protests) and for whatever reason information that filtered between the command personnel on site did not come back down to us on the road. At some point, the decision was made to have us depart….”

Where did the decision come from?  According to Governor Ige’s office, “The ultimate decision was made by Hawai’i County Police Department with the support of unified command.”

The source of the problem became clearer in November when Hawai’i County Mayor Harry Kim effectively endorsed the anti-telescope protests calling them “a new Hawaiian Renaissance.”

Police statewide have paid a price for being pawns in Harry Kim’s political games. 

Hawaii County Police Maj. Samuel Jelsma, the commander in charge of the Mauna Kea operation says: “While we were waiting for things to happen, inactivity is putting out the message that the police are weak. … We’re getting all these complaints, we’re just sitting there, officers are getting paid overtime.”

---30---

Related: Kahuku and Waimanalo Protests show why Hawaii Needs Municipal Government

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

ACA Signups Hawaii

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Astronomy Hawaii

Back da Blue Hawaii

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Life Alliance

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

HIEC.Coop

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

July 4 in Hawaii

Kakaako Cares

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

ReRoute the Rail

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Save Dillingham Airfield

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

Sink the Jones Act

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

UCC Truths

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT