HONOLULU — Portions of Honolulu police body camera videos were shown in court Wednesday during a hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to support murder and attempted murder charges against three officers in the shooting death of a 16-year-old Micronesian boy.
In one of the clips aired in court, two officers in a police vehicle are in a high-speed chase of a white Honda that they were told was stolen and involved in a series of violent crimes involving guns.
An officer is heard yelling into a speaker for the car to pull over as police chase it from a Honolulu beach park, along a highway, to a freeway and through a neighborhood.
Another clip shows an officer getting out of a vehicle as the Honda is stopped. The officer opens fire as the vehicle appears to move forward, then stops before lurching forward and landing in a canal.
The April 5 shooting killed Iremamber Sykap, who police said was driving the stolen car.
Officer Geoffrey Thom was later charged with murder. Prosecutors said he fired 10 rounds at Sykap through the rear window of the car after it stopped at an intersection. Officers Zackary Ah Nee and Christopher Fredeluces, who also opened fire, are charged with second-degree attempted murder.
A judge has been listening to testimony over three days to decide whether there is a reasonable basis for believing that a crime may have been committed and that the case can go forward to trial. The hearing is scheduled to resume Aug. 17.
Those who decried the shooting also gathered at the courthouse. They say it shows that Hawaii isn’t immune to racial injustice and police brutality that have prompted protests in other parts of the U.S. Some in the Micronesian community say the shooting highlights the racism they face in Hawaii.
Officer Chanel Price, who also pursued the Honda and drew her weapon but didn’t fire, testified Wednesday that she believed Fredeluces’ life was in danger because the vehicle was moving toward him.
Knowing that the people in the Honda had been involved in a series of crimes including an armed home invasion, that the driver at one point during the chase drove into oncoming traffic and that there were possibly multiple firearms in the car, made the situation dangerous, Price said.
Price testified that at the time, she didn’t know the ages or ethnicities of the people in the car.