Tags: Law Enforcement | police misconduct | lawsuit | payout | Hawaii

Largest Payouts or Police Misconduct Lawsuits in Hawaii

By    |   Monday, 10 Aug 2015 10:13 PM

Hawaii is the only state without a statewide police standards board, and officers in the Aloha State are rarely fired for misconduct, according to Civil Beat. Hawaii’s capital city of Honolulu settled about 100 cases involving police officers at a total payout of about $5.7 million between Jan. 1, 2003, and May 1, 2014, the publication reported.

Here are some of Hawaii’s largest police lawsuit misconduct payouts on record.

$1.4 million to family of Aaron Torrez
The Honolulu City Council voted in May 2014 to pay a $1.4 million settlement to the family of Aaron Torrez, 37, a truck driver whom Hawaii News Now reported was accidentally suffocated by Honolulu police at a time when he was mentally unstable. His attorneys said Torrez was high on cocaine in February 2012 when he repeatedly called 911 saying he needed help, with officers subsequently coming to his home and being asked by Torrez’s wife to take him in for treatment. Torrez died of suffocation when he began acting strange and threatening, and three officers handcuffed and shackled him, according to Hawaii News Now.

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$950,000 to Qing Yu Chen
The Honolulu City Council voted in May 2014 to pay $950,000 to Qing Yu Chen, who was hit by an officer’s vehicle while in a crosswalk, according to Civil Beat. The settlement was among $3.7 million worth of payouts the council approved the same day to people who had been harmed by city employees. Several of the payments were related to the Honolulu Police Department, including one situation in which police mistakenly raided someone’s house because they thought bamboo was marijuana, Civil Beat reported.

$575,000 to Christopher Evangelista
Honolulu paid a $575,000 settlement in 2003 to Christopher Evangelista after a blast from a police officer’s shotgun blew off part of his leg, according to Civil Beat. The victim’s attorney said Evangelista was sleeping at a friend’s home and was wounded when police entered looking for someone who had reportedly flashed a gun at a security guard.

$400,000 to the family of Robert Rapoza Jr.
Honolulu paid a $400,000 settlement in 2003 to the family of Robert Rapoza Jr., whom Civil Beat said contended officer David Chun beat him with a broken broomstick while he was in custody in 1996. The injuries caused Rapoza’s death in 1998, according to the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Chun later was sentenced to serve federal prison time on convictions linked to the 1995 beating of another inmate, Howard Doolin.

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Hawaii is the only state without a statewide police standards board, and officers in the Aloha State are rarely fired for misconduct, according to Civil Beat. Honolulu settled about 100 cases involving police officers at a total payout of about $5.7 million between 2003 and May 2014.
police misconduct, lawsuit, payout, Hawaii
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2015-13-10
Monday, 10 Aug 2015 10:13 PM
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