By Kaya 959 News
#JusticeForLindaniMyeni trended for most of the weekend after the man shot dead by police in Hawaii was identified as South African rugby player, Lindani Myeni.
His lawyer, Jim Bickerton, is now asking for the police to release all the body cam footage as well as the 911 tapes preceding the fateful event.
Last Wednesday, officers from the Honolulu Police Department responded to a distress call from a woman complaining about a man, behaving erratically. The caller claimed that a burglary had taken place.
Hawaii News Now reported that the caller told police that the man had taken his shoes off and had been speaking to the homeowners but they were upset and the man left.
Questions raised over Myeni’s phone
When police arrived, they approached Myeni and demanded that he lie down on the ground but according to HPD Police Chief Susan Ballard, he punched the officer.
Ballard said the second officer tried to intervene and a third used a Taser. The first officer then fired a single round and the suspect ‘continued and straddled’, another officer and that was when the second officer fired three more rounds. The suspect was taken to hospital where he later died. Two more officers were wounded in the scuffle.
Bickerton has raised questions around police holding Myeni’s phone as evidence.
He said in the shooting of an unarmed man, the burden fell on the police and they have not come clean.
He claimed that the HPD was hiding facts about what transpired.
Acting Deputy Chief defends officers
According to a statement from Bickerton, officers flashed a flashlight in Myeni’s eyes which could have added to the escalation of events.
He added that Myeni was treated aggressively and disrespectfully from the beginning.
Acting deputy Chief Allan Nagata has defended the officers, saying 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,” he said. “As an officer with 30 years experience … I’m glad they survived. They did very well and they were very brave,” he told reporters at a news conference.
EFF calls for justice
The Economic Freedom Fighters in KZN have also joined calls for justice.
According to Provincial Chairperson, Vusi Khoza, while there are many versions of the story, Myeni did not have a criminal record.
“We therefore call upon the Department of International Relations to intervene by making sure that justice prevails. We further call upon international communities and movements to join us as we call for #JusticeForLindaniMyeni,” he said.
Myeni, who was from KwaZulu-Natal, moved to the islands from the mainland in January, with his wife and their two children.
Myeni’s wife, Lindsay is also seeking answers from police.
“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,” she shared in an emotional post on social media.