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Sunday, April 4, 2021
What Does the Honolulu Council Want to Know About Kimura Shooting?
By Andrew Walden @ 5:50 PM :: 1292 Views :: Ethics, Police

by Andrew Walden

Six years after the fact, State court litigation in the Sgt Anson Kimura shooting case is about to kick into high gear. 

At the same time, reform-oriented members of the Honolulu Police Commission—Loretta Sheehan and Steve Levinson--have been driven out. The appointment of Mayor Blangiardi’s replacement for Levinson, retired Honolulu PD Captain Benjamin Mahi, will soon come before the Honolulu Council for confirmation (Res 21-081).  (UPDATE: On agenda for April 14, 2021 pg 5)

After years of fruitless federal litigation reached an end, a 2018 State court stay on Park v Honolulu (Civ. 18-1-1374-09) was lifted April 1, 2021 by order of Judge Bert Ayabe.  This allows the state lawsuit filed against the City and County of Honolulu by waitress Hyun Ju Park to move forward. 

While working at King’s Sports Bar on South King Street in Honolulu, Park allegedly was accidentally shot in the abdomen by an allegedly drunken Sgt Kimura at 145AM on April 3, 2015.  Park’s medical care is on-going to this day and exceeds $1M – paid by her workers comp insurer, Dongbu Insurance.  Dongbu has intervened in the case demanding the City and County repay it.

Here is a preview of what is coming.

An exhibit filed Oct 2, 2020, by Dongbu, alleges years of drunken misbehavior and gunplay at King’s Sports Bar.  Dongbu suggests that higher-ups in HPD must have known about Kimura’s mental state and did nothing.  Instead, Kimura was promoted to Sergeant, which he allegedly celebrated with more drunken gunplay: 

12. In 2012, Kimura was at King’s Bar, where in the presence of fellow HPD officers, Kimura displayed, brandished, manipulated or drew his HPD issued firearm at or in front of Plaintiff Park, asking Plaintiff Park to kill him with said firearm.

13. In 2013, Kimura was again at King’s Bar, where in the presence of fellow HPD officers, became angry at Plaintiff Park for not responding to him and stabbed a twelve (12) inch kitchen knife into a wooden table.

14. In 2014, Kimura was once again at King’s Bar where he was celebrating a promotion. Plaintiff Park was outside giving goodbye hugs to other customers when Kimura put her in a headlock, causing her pain. Plaintiff Park pinched him to get him to let her go. In the presence of fellow HPD officers, Kimura pulled Plaintiff Park’s hair down before letting her go. Kimura then drew his HPD issued or supplemental firearm and pointed it at Plaintiff Park. Scared, Plaintiff Park left immediately….

Park’s original complaint, filed by attorney Eric Seitz, September 4, 2018 includes this item:

44. Plaintiff is informed and believes, and thereupon alleges, that Defendant CITY AND COUNTY OF HONOLULU knew and encouraged its officers to implement its de facto policy, practice, or custom of concealing and condoning officer misconduct, as evidenced by, inter alia,

(i) a 2009-2010 attempt to conceal misconduct and/or criminal wrongdoing by HPD 9 Officers Duke Zoller, Aaron Bernal, Christopher Bugarin, Patrick Bugarin, and Brian Morris;

(ii) a 2012 attempt to conceal misconduct and/or criminal wrongdoing by HPD Officers Calvin Domingo, Keoki Duarte, Ross Furuhashi, Christopher Goshi, Tyler Maalo, Randall Rivera, Nalei Sooto, and Patrick Sung; and

(iii) a 2014 attempt to conceal misconduct and/or criminal wrongdoing by HPD Officers Vincent Morre, Nelson Tamayori, and Joseph Becera.

Will the Honolulu Police Commission be working on systematic reform within the HPD as these issues—and the ongoing Kealoha case--are aired in Court? 

That depends on who is on it—and the cards are already stacked against reform.

Councilmembers could start their consideration of Mahi’s nomination by checking the anonymized annual HPD discipline reports for final dispensation for the 10 HPD officers disciplined in relation to the Kimura shooting.

Questions: 

  • Is 16-09 Sgt Anson Kimura?
  • Is 16-12 Capt Ben Mahi?
  • Are 16-14 and 17-32 Sgt Albert Lee, a witness against Katherine Kealoha who allegedly staged a drunk-driving accident the day he was set to testify?

Here is the list with results gleaned from four years of anonymized discipline reports:

  • 16-9 - Discharged (Is this Sgt Anson Kimura?) - final in 2016
  • 16-10 - Discharge reduced to 20 day suspension - final in 2017
  • 16-11 - Discharge reduced to 20 day suspension - final in 2017
  • 16-12 - 10 day suspension reduced to no action (non-SHOPO member because reference to Civil Service Commission, so higher than Lt.) - final in 2017  (Is this Cap’t Ben Mahi?)
  • 16-13 - 10 day suspension reduced to no action (SHOPO member because reference to arbitration) - final in 2018
  • 16-14 - 10 day suspension reduced to no action (SHOPO member because reference to arbitration) - final in 2018; same officer is subject of a discharge proceeding that has been in arbitration since the 2017 report (see matter 17-32, link between incidents is noted in 2017 and 2018 reports) (Is this Sgt Albert Lee?)
  • 16-15 - 10 day suspension reduced to no action (SHOPO member because reference to arbitration) - final in 2018
  • 16-16 - 10 day suspension reduced to no action (SHOPO member because reference to arbitration) - final in 2018
  • 16-17 - 10 day suspension reduced to no action (SHOPO member because reference to arbitration) - final in 2018
  • 16-18 - 10 day suspension reduced to no action (SHOPO member because reference to arbitration) - final in 2018
  • 16-19 - 3 day suspension - final in 2017

---30---

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