Body camera footage: 3 shots before officer said ‘police’

Police in Honolulu, Hawaii released two brief clips from the shooting

Honolulu police body camera footage released Friday of a man’s fatal shooting shows three gunshots rang out before an officer says, “police.”

Police released two brief clips from the shooting that killed Lindani Myeni, 29, Honolulu on Wednesday night.

Myeni had entered a home, sat down and took off his shoes, prompting the scared occupants to dial the police, Chief Susan Ballard said Thursday.

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In one clip of the dark footage, what sounds like a distraught woman outside a house tells an officer, “that’s him.” The officer yells repeatedly for Myeni to get on the ground.

Shots ring out and then after a pause, an officer said, “police.”

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

“Hey, let’s be honest, they’re in uniform. … They’re coming there with the police cars and they told him get on the ground, comply,” Nagata said.

Myeni had assaulted the officers, punching one of them until the officer briefly lost consciousness, Nagata said.

“They didn’t shoot or discharge the firearm right away,” he said. “This was not a case of overreaction.”

The three officers were responding to a burglary in progress, involving a report of a man inside a house and a distraught woman, Nagata said about why the first officer ordered Myeni onto the ground.

“We don’t know if he has weapons in his waistband or in his pockets,” Nagata said.

One officer deployed a stun gun, which didn’t seem to have an effect on Myeni. It looked like one the probes struck Myeni but he kept fighting, Nagata said.

According to news reports, Myeni’s wife said her husband was from South Africa.

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The officers were brave, Nagata said. “I’m proud because they were in a fight for their lives,” he said. “I would have been shivering if I responded to that.”

One officer who suffered facial fractures and a concussion remained hospitalized, Nagata said.

Police have yet to release body camera footage from the April 5 shooting death of a 16-year-old boy. Ballard, who recently announced she will retire June 1 after receiving a critical performance review from the police commission, has said the department is still reviewing footage from 50 body cameras.

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