State briefs for April 23

Lawsuit less than a week after police shooting

HONOLULU — The family of an unarmed Black man shot and killed by Honolulu police filed a wrongful death lawsuit Thursday, alleging officers were motivated by racial discrimination.


Lindani Myeni, 29, walked into a Honolulu home, sat down and took off his shoes last week, prompting the occupants of the house to call 911, police said.

Less than two days later, police released two clips from responding officers’ body camera footage. In one brief clip, an officer is heard yelling for Myeni to get on the ground. Three shots ring out before an officer says, “police.”

In releasing the footage, Acting Deputy Chief Allan Nagata acknowledged officers didn’t identify themselves before shooting. But he said it was clear they were police, even in the dark.

Nagata said Myeni assaulted the officers, punching one of them until the officer briefly lost consciousness. A stun gun didn’t seem to have an effect on Myeni, Nagata said.

After the shooting, Chief Susan Ballard said race wasn’t a factor.

“What we do know, is that notwithstanding HPD’s claim that this is not about race, Lindani was treated aggressively and disrespectfully from the very beginning, even though the tape shows he was standing still,” said Bridget Morgan-Bickerton, one of the lawyers representing Myeni’s wife and two young children. “We also know that Lindani was subjected to deadly force without even being given the chance to hear the required words ‘this is the police’.

It was the police’s fault that Myeni chose to fight when he could only see men holding lights and a gun on the moonless night while a distraught woman shouted, “that’s him,” said James Bickerton, another lawyer representing his family.

Representatives for the city and the department didn’t immediately comment on the lawsuit.

Kayaker wants to paddle solo from California

HONOLULU — A man is trying to become the second person to kayak alone from California to Hawaii.

Cyril Derreumaux, 44, will attempt to become the first person since 1987 to pull off the feat.

Derreumaux is hoping to complete the roughly 2,400-mile journey in 70 days.

Derreumaux planned to complete the trip last year, but the coronavirus pandemic delayed delivery of his kayak that was custom built in Britain.

Derreumaux in 2016 was a member of a four-person team that rowed across the Pacific and set a Guinness World Record. The 44-year-old owns a company that sells high-performance paddling gear.

He will start the journey May 30 from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

Maui’s mayor vetoes affordable housing unit bill

HONOLULU — Maui Mayor Michael Victorino vetoed a bill that would have applied stricter regulations to a state program that offers developers incentives to build affordable housing units.

The bill initially would have mandated at least 75% of the homes in projects developed on Maui, Molokai and Lanai under the state program be affordable to households with incomes near the median.

The bill was amended to allow developers who propose projects with less than 75% affordable housing units to seek exemptions that would need to be approved by the county council.


The Maui County Council voted 6-3 to pass that version of the bill, which Victorino vetoed this week.

Victorino said the bill had good intentions but he thinks another layer of regulations would delay affordable housing construction.

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