Change Hawaii law so the police can’t cop out
What is wrong with Hawaii that we get so exercised about genetically modified organisms but let our laws allow the police to cop out when it comes to domestic abuse.
The recent tragedy on Molokai (The Maui News, March 22) is such a case. Here, a convicted felon with a long record of violent crime, domestic abuse and firearms violations is given a mere citation for abuse by police five days before he murdered his longtime girlfriend. Why was he not in jail?
Hawaii law gives the responding officer total discretion when responding to abuse situations. Every action specified in the law is preceded by a “may.” There are no specifications of “shall,” requiring specific actions by the officer, unlike many Mainland jurisdictions.
Our Legislature needs to get out of bed with SHOPO and craft some real teeth in the law to provide some real and functional safe harbors for the endangered before they are killed or brutalized.