County Councilman Greenwell Cuffed and Stuffed

Commentary by Councilmember Kelly Greenwell:

On Saturday, July 17, 2010 at approximately 1:00p.m., six or eight vehicles, one of which was mine, were traveling north on the Queen Kaahumanu Highway just beyond the Makala Blvd. intersection, where the speed limit increases from 35 to 45 mph (we at the County Council approved this increase perhaps a year ago). We were being scanned by a police officer parked on the rise eight or nine hundred yards beyond the intersection, near the old 35 mph sign which was supposed to be removed when the new 45 mph sign was installed. For whatever reason, he chose to focus on my car and flagged me down individually. I demanded to know what the reason was and why he chose me, and after identifying myself as the Councilmember from District 8, I attempted to get out of the car to discuss what is an apparent speed trap.

About an hour later, I’m in the police station handcuffed and being booked for a list of charges never disclosed. I’m sure they will include resisting arrest and perhaps disobeying the threats or “orders” of a police officer.

So, what happened?

Perhaps I was recognized as the Councilmember opposing the police for what I believe to be barbaric tactics in subduing the marijuana advocates over the last several years or for their refusal to obey the law which restricts the prosecution for possession of marijuana.

Perhaps I was recognized as the advocate for civil behavior by police officers, opposing the increasing harsh and militant tactics of the present force.

Or perhaps it was simply me.

What was really the crime? That I took issue with being singled out for going 51 in a 45 mph speed zone, or maybe it was that a patrol officer was using an anomaly in posted signage to trap motorists from his vantage point when he should have been traveling with the traffic? Was it that as a traffic officer he should have been aware that highway speed is first a function of traffic flow? Or could it be that a 70 year old man, elected to the County Council by the people of the 8th District to watch over the conduct of all County Departments(including the Police), doing the job he was hired to do, was threatened with a laser gun (lethal to him because of his Epilepsy) if he didn’t lie down on the pavement and allow the officer to handcuff him (I wouldn’t do that) or because he had to sit handcuffed in a cage in the back of a police cruiser for a half hour with no air and all the windows sealed?

Or was it that when I asked that the pills to control my Epileptic seizures be retrieved from my car in the event that my stress level required them, this request, while responded to, was ultimately ignored. Was it that I, a person so proud of his community record be given the option of leaving his hands shackled behind him or tethered to a post like a goat while being booked as a criminal? Or is the crime that the ethics of a modern police department is now merely about control rather than being there to help?

Or maybe there was really no crime at all, maybe I have been trying to live in a world that no longer exists, maybe seventy years is too long to live in one place.

Kelly Greenwell

County Council Member

District 8

75-5706 Hanama Place


Kailua-Kona, HI



9 Responses

  1. […] You Should Have Just STFU! Posted on October 4, 2010 by Damon Councilman Greenwell wrote me a letter that I published on my blog shortly after he got arrested on JULY 17th for speeding on the Kona side of the Big […]

  2. I have no sympathy for Mr. Greenwell. Did he think that because of his position on the council or personal wealth he is exempt from following the law like the rest of us? If you know Kona history, you may know that Mr. Greenwell is a descendant of a family of wealthy ranchers. It’s obvious from his juvenile behavior and comments that he is one of those rich folks who thinks they can get away with anything. It’s too bad that instead of taking responsibility for breaking the law, he has decided to make a stink to deflect attention away from himself. It sounds like Officer Segobia was following procedure and Mr. Greenwell was expecting special treatment. I would have thought he had grown up already. What a whiner!

  3. Mr. Greenwell needs to learn two words – SHUT UP!

    He is using these news forums to make HIS story fact and in doing so, is using hype to make the Police appear to be wrong.

    Imagine if EVERY citizen did EXACTLY what Mr. Greenwell did for EVERY traffic stop.

    While I am not saying the police get a free pass, any question as to the police actions is done in court. While I am also sure that EVERY citizen pulled over by the police feels they are innocent and the police used “Nazi” tactics, this airing of Mr. Greenwell’s dirty laundry is quite frankly an insult to the intellect of the citizens AND police of this island.

    Further, Mr. Greenwell DOES have a history of traffic law infractions as well as vehicle equipment violations. Does Mr. Greenwell feel his council position exempts him from obeying the laws, or does he just feel he is exempt just because he is Mr. Greenwell on his very own?

    Let’s first hope Mr. Greenwell enjoys his retirement after the next election. Then, come what may of these charges – but in a COURT OF LAW.

    Lincoln does however need to tell him – with dire urgency – to SHUT-UP!

  4. This is over-harsh treatment that these cops do all the time when they feel like it.
    A traffic infraction of not even 10 mph over the limit is not a crime with a victim,
    as SHOULD not be respnded to as such.

    And then, he is a older man. 70 yo? What a joke those officers putting him on the
    pavement like that and then denial of medicine prescibed by a Doctor of Medicine?

    The cops do this all the time, but we dont usually hear about it, due to the cop that approves ALL the stories at the newpapers.

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