A prominent lawyer is demanding that the Honolulu Police Department in Hawaii must come forward with ‘the whole truth’, after they gunned down an unarmed South African citizen earlier this week. Lindani Myeni was shot dead by cops following a scuffle, but it has emerged that the victim was unarmed – and responding officers allegedly failed to identify themselves.

Who is Lindani Myeni?

The 29-year-old Myeni, from KZN, was shot multiple times by Honolulu police on Wednesday after a suspected burglary. He succumbed to gunshot wounds. However, in a Facebook post, wife Lindsay said that Lindani went for a drive to clear his mind after a family fun day. The EFF is now calling on DIRCO to escalate this killing with its US counterparts.

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard said on Thursday, that the reason police officers fatally shot a man in Nuuanu was clear: He was putting their lives in jeopardy. Police were called to the home on Coelho Way when residents claimed that Myine entered the premises. Honolulu Police Department said he had no weapons and no criminal record.

“They were in the fight for their lives, let me be clear with you, and as a result, they did very well, they were very brave. They fought for their lives. I was very impressed by what they did. They didn’t shoot or discharge the firearm right away. This was not a case of overreaction.” | Susan Ballard

Hawaii Police accused of ‘not telling the full story’

Jim Bickerton, attorney for the Myeni family in Honolulu, isn’t swallowing this version of events. He believes the local police department is withholding a lot of information that will reflect badly on their employees. According to Bickerton, the 911 response to Lindani Myeni was ‘utterly unconscionable’.

“We have not heard the 911 tapes or seen the bodycam footage that proceeds what has been released. They are holding Lindani Myeni’s phone as evidence. But in shooting an unarmed black man, the burden is on them and they have not come clean. Lindani was not told ‘this is the police’. He was being treated aggressively – the tape shows him standing still.”

“The failure to identify as police is unconscionable. If you point a flashlight and gun in someone’s eyes and tell them to get on the ground, and the person can’t see you but will know you are not the police and that his life is in danger, flight or fight is inevitable. That is the fault of the Honolulu Police Department.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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