An Update on the Sykap Case

Honolulu courtroom

By: Manu Kala

The preliminary hearing resumes next month when the judge will be asked to determine if there is enough evidence to send three officers – Geoffrey Thom, Zackary Ah Nee and Christopher Fredeluces – to trial for murder and attempted murder.  This week new police body camera video was shown to the court for the first time.

Police Officer Chanel Price’s body camera videotaped a stolen white Honda as it lunged forward ― moments before police officers shot and killed 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap.  This video is emerging as a key piece of evidence bolstering the officers’ claims that their lives were in danger when they shot at the car.

When testifying this week, Officer Price stated that a car moving forward could still hurt someone and was a threat.  Defense attorneys further argued that the suspects in the car represented a continued danger to the public since they had committed armed robbery, stolen cars, and refused to pull over.  Iremamber Sykap, though 16-years old, had been arrested more than 30 times.  The suspects in the Honda posed a continued danger to the public beyond the danger they posed to the officers on scene trying to arrest them.

On the other hand, this week prosecutors argued that there were no pedestrians nearby and that the officers were at the side of the car ― and not in front where they would be in danger.  Therefore, prosecutors and civil rights experts connected to the case contend that the movement of the car didn’t pose an imminent threat to the on-scene officers because the they were on the side of the vehicle.  Experts went even further to describe that the officers themselves were the ones to place themselves in danger, not Sykap who had already committed felonies that day and was refusing to comply.  Badges and guns were not enough to stop Iremamber Sykap and his accomplices.  The use of deadly force was the only alternative left to stop Sykap and his accomplices from escalatory crime spree that would have inevitably killed innocent people. 

The public often worries about the God Complex growing amongst people in positions of authority such as police officers.  We often never turn the page around and comprehend that God Complexes equally apply to people like Sykap who make the deliberate decision to break the law.  They presume themselves above the law from the very moment in which they first commit a crime.  When they are not deterred, their God Complex grows more and more.  That feeling to commit more crimes and feel that rush again, grows each time a crime is committed.  It’s a drug.  People like Sykap do not feel restraint or remorse.  They do not blink when they commit a crime.  They only feel remorse behind bars because they got caught. 

If the Democrats and the city want an indictment, then indict the judicial system that you have created.  Indict those that created a system that allows a 16-year-old, 30 times arrested boy criminal to have a gun, to commit armed robbery, to steal cars, and evade the police.  Indict yourselves for denying three police officers post-traumatic counseling and putting them on trial for their lives after they ably and lawfully performed their public duty.  Those officers will in all probability play that day over and over in their minds for the remainders of their lives, asking themselves could they have done something else that would have kept that boy alive and protected the public at the same time.  They will not sleep peacefully again for years.  Democrats owe those officers peace rather than condemnation.