By Se-Anne Rall
Hawaii police have released bodycam footage from the officers who responded to a call-out that ended in the death of KwaZulu-Natal rugby player, Lindani Myeni.
Myeni, who lived in Hawaii with his wife and their two children, was 29-years-old, unarmed during the incident and did not have a criminal record.
According to Hawaii News Now, on Wednesday, officers responded to a report of a burglary in progress at a home in Nuuanu. The person who made the 911 call, said a man was sitting in a vehicle parked nearby and identified him as the suspect. The caller said the man had been exhibiting strange behaviour.
In the graphic video, police are seen responding to the scene and a distressed woman points out where Myeni is seated.
Officers then ask where he is and order him to get on the ground. A scuffle ensues and a shot is fired, followed by more shouting and three more shots. One of the officers then shouts “police”. In footage from another cop’s body cam, the officer can be heard shouting for a taser.
Myeni sustained a gunshot wound and was rushed to hospital where he later died.
It is unclear if an actual robbery took place but police have come under fire for their behaviour during the ordeal.
Hawaii News Now reported that in a news conference Friday afternoon, acting deputy Chief Allan Nagata vigorously defended the officers and said they did everything right.
“They told him to get on the ground and comply. They were in uniform and gave clear instructions. Although it’s dark, it’s pretty clear. As an officer with 30 years experience … I’m glad they survived. They did very well and they were very brave,” he said.
The officers sustained injuries during the scuffle.
Meanwhile, Myeni’s wife has taken to social media to ask questions about her husband’s death.
“They shot my king. I was with him at 7:30p. He went for a drive to clear his mind after a fun family day. His green card interview was next week. I called and he said he was on his way home at 7:52p. By 8:10p cops had shot him four times. How can you justify that?!” she posted.
“What happened in 18 MINUTES?? What do I tell my babies when they cry for him???? He has my heart. I will never find a perfect love like him. He was indescribable. He’d grown into a nobleman. Righteous but not self-righteous. Loving and wise. He was too good for this broken world. He was born at Queen Nandi hospital and passed at Queen Emma’s hospital. We need justice. They must release the body cams and show us what happened. Why are three trained officers afraid of one unarmed man? They just left me a widow at 29 with two babies in diapers you gotta be f kidding me,” Lindsay wrote.
Sitting in a car means u a thief? Even if he was a suspect, why didn’t you arrest him then because I’m pretty sure he didn’t even show any form of resistance, that would result in him being shot. So a family is fatherless just like that, a wife now a widow?? IOL