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Lawyers representing the family of the man who was shot dead by police on April 14 are attempting to interrogate the woman who called 911, her husband and the owner of the house where 29-year-old Lindani Myeni is after a fight with three police offers, burglary died.
Attorneys James J. Bickerton and Bridget G. Morgan-Bickerton filed suits against the three officers and the city on April 22nd. The suit claims that Myeni had a peaceful conversation with the wangs and left the property. Police officers initiated the fight by aggressively commanding him to the ground with flashlights in his face and guns drawn, without identifying himself as law enforcement officers.
On Friday, Myeni’s lawyers noted in a series of papers that they intended to depose the woman who called 911, Shiying “Sabine” Wang. her husband Da Ju “Dexter” Wang; and the registered owner of the house, James H. Hall. The family are also trying to restore Myeni’s phone to save family photos and search their call and map search history to see where he was going on the evening of April 14th. HPD and the City Corporation Counsel’s office declined to comment.
“HPD will not return his phone to the family and until 4 p.m. today had not given it to the public prosecutor Alm. What are they hiding? “Said Bickerton to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.
The house at 91 Coelho Way is a short-term vacation rental that is being advertised on Airbnb and Instagram, according to the lawsuit. This means that racial discrimination against any person who owns, operates or controls this facility is prohibited by law.
“After Mr. Myeni arrived by car and removed his shoes when he entered the temporary home on the property, Mr. Myeni realized that he was not welcome and left the house peacefully. The plaintiff alleges that the reaction of the residents of the property was racially motivated by Mr. Myeni and constituted racial discrimination in public accommodation, ”the lawsuit alleges.
“Unknown to Mr. Myeni, the police decided to treat this non-violent and peaceful entry and exit of a place of public accommodation as a crime in progress and came to their presence at the scene with no lights, sirens or other signs of their presence in an apparent attempt to to surprise the “perpetrator”. Since there was no moon in the sky at the time and this was a residential street in Nuuanu, it was dark. “
When Mr. Myeni was standing unarmed by the side of the driveway, just a few yards from the road, one of the officers came while hysterical screams of ‘this is him’ from a person standing in the doorway of the house on the street Property suddenly shone the flashlight right in Mr. Myeni’s eyes and held a pistol in the flashlight beam aimed at Mr. Myeni. At the same time, without ever announcing that he was an officer, or that he was using the word “police” or explaining his purpose, that officer shouted “Get on the ground” several times in harsh, aggressive, disrespectful and threatening ways. the suit claims.
“This behavior towards Mr. Myeni, which treated him as less than a human regardless of what alleged ‘crime’ was investigated, and ruthlessly refrained from explaining himself, identity or purpose, was through racial discrimination against people Myeni’s African descent motivates Mr. Myeni, ”the lawsuit said.
Prior to the April 14 incident, police and city inspectors had responded to incidents at the home.
Over the past year, officials responded to reports of a vehicle break-in, vehicle collision, possible COVID violation, and other incident. The Department of Planning and Approval investigated seven complaints from 2019-2020 about an illegal short-term rental operated at home.