The Hawaii County Police Commission… A Fox in the Hen House?

Anyone want to start a discussion on the possibility of finding out a better way to resolve police complaints without the public having to fight the “Fox in the Hen House”?
With the utmost respect to the current Hawaii County Police Commission, the police commission are just normal folks like us… yet, the “alleged” power they may and could hold, is really very small considering anything they eventually recommend, just falls back onto the Police Chief to make the final decision on things anyways.
After my recent experience in front of the commission… I honestly worry about many of the complaints that may be brought forward, but not looked at seriously for one reason or another.
Not much time is given to the folks that want to present their case, and in my case… it was done towards the end of a very long day.
I expect to be getting a letter some time this week with the results of the Police Commissions results in my own complaint (HPC 11-32).  One way or another… I brought my complaint forward and the results of this, will have no bearing on any pending lawsuit I may be filing soon.

Hawaii County Police Commission Nominates New Chair and Vice Chair… Listens to My Police Complaint

Today was a Hawaii County Police Commission meeting and among many things on the agenda was the selection of the Chair and Vice Chair of the Police Commission for 2012.

Click to see the agenda and complaints heard

Kenneth T. Ono out of District 7 was selected as Chair and Carol R. Ignacio out of District 1 as the Vice Chair for the 2012 Commission.

I can only say what districts they currently represent because I don’t know where they live or if the redistricting will affect anyone but what I did notice is that there is still no Commissioner from District 6 (Puna, Kau, South Kona).

Hawaii County Police Chief Harry Kubojiri also gave his reports and specifically talked about the amount of openings that were in the Police County Dispatch program.  He did mention that there are a lot of candidates for the job but the job of a police dispatcher is not as easy as some may think and there are certain qualities that the a dispatcher needs to be able to handle on the job.

Hawaii County Police Chief Harry Kubojiri gives his report to the commission

The Commission then broke into Executive Session to consider discipline and charges against officers or employees of the Hawaii Police Department, to consider sensitive matters relating to public safety, to discuss the evaluation of the Police Chief, and to consult with Corporation Counsel on Questions and issues pertaining to the commission’s powers, duties, privileges, immunities, and liabilities pursuant to HRS 92-5 (a) (2)(4))(6) and the Hawai’i County Charter Section 13-20 (b).

The public was required to sit outside during this portion of the meeting.  There were nine Hawaii Police Complaints to to be heard and mine was heard toward the ending of the commission meeting.

I did the best to explain what happened to me that day.

They didn’t even bother to look at the damages on my body, my hospital bills, or my iPhone

My damaged iPhone 4 as I retrieved it from evidence.

I tried to show them my camera but they really didn’t seem to have any interest it and I didn’t even bother to bring in my damaged clothes… however it is in my police complaint.

Broken Nikon L110

What really… really seemed confusing…. and almost bothersome… was it seemed like the Police Commission didn’t understand the fact that filming folks in public is perfectly legal!

I got asked… why would I want to film a bar fight… why post pictures of it on the internet?  I got asked basically if my blog was a job… and what I did as a Federal Worker.

I guess maybe even the Police Commission themselves don’t realize that filming police doing their jobs in public places is perfectly legal… I sure hope not.

And of course the infamous one where they ask was I taking pictures of folks in their faces… Well the physical evidence and the pictures on the camera speak for themselves!  That and the fact that I forgot to mention to the police commission that Prosecuting Damerville himself even said that the two civilian witnesses in the case were not very reliable witnesses!

Oh and let’s not also forget those three anonymous calls that also went into the prosecutors office after this happened stating I was a sex offender…. and the PROSECUTOR HIMSELF FOUND THAT TO BE FUNNY and Showed me the other Damon Shane Tucker mug shot that these anonymous folks were talking about who is locked up in Arizona until 2062.

While the Prosecutors Office has dismissed my case “in the name of justice”… I still am dealing with the hospital bills, the physical aches, the emotional scars, the damaged iPhone and Camera as well as clothes I was wearing that fateful night.

I still have pain and I don't know if the scars will ever go away!

Let’s hope that the Police Commission will do it’s job accurately and hopefully justice will be served.

Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Lincoln Ashida “The Commission (Police) cannot legally mete out discipline against police officers.”

So here is part of Hawaii County Prosecuting Attorney Lincoln Ashida’s response to a recent newspaper article.

“…The duties and roles of “police commissioners” differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.  In some mainland jurisdictions, police commissioners are paid, full time employees (in some places elected) who are vested with the authority to discipline police officers.  This is not the function of commissioners in Hawai‘i, and certainly not a responsibility the Commission could assume by simply changing its rules.

The Commission cannot legally mete out discipline against police officers. This is true for all four commissions statewide in all four counties. The legal reason for this is under our laws, only the employer may discipline public sector employees.  This is why the Commission’s responsibility is to investigate charges of misconduct, and then refer the case to the Chief (the employer) to conduct an internal investigation and mete out appropriate discipline…”

I’m not quite sure I understand this. What happens if the Chief happens to be in co-hoots with his officers?

But then Mr. Ashida goes on to say:

…If you have any concerns about our police department, ask your commissioner.  You will find like you their primary concern is helping build a stronger community…

Well someone correct me if I’m wrong… but we here in Puna haven’t had a commissioner for at least a year and a half that I can think of.

Mayor Kenoi Recommends Donn S. Mende to County Police Commission

Mayor Kenoi has recommended Donn S. Mende to the Hawaii County Police Commission.

His confirmation would take place this coming Monday, March 2nd at the Councilroom in the Ben Franklin Building at 10:30 am.

More here