One of the key lessons for avoiding prosecution for brutality is to avoid doing it in front of a camera or thousands of witnesses, or in this case, both. The Honolulu Police Department has opened a criminal investigation after an officer was videotaped beating a man who simply ran onto the field at Aloha Stadium field after a big win of the University of Hawaii football team over Washington.
What is fascinating about this video is that it shows many fans running on the field, a common response. The police appear dressed for a full beach assault on Normandy. Thousands of students booed and called on the officers to stop. The man appears to be partially stripped, but ultimately no charges are brought against him. Students also complained the the police used pepper spray on the crowd.
It was not until the students posted the video, however, that the Honolulu Police Department said that it would investigate. Once again, the question is whether any action would have occurred in the absence of a video and undeniable record. Now there is an internal investigation and one would think a possible tort action.
For the story and video, click here