State / In Brief

The Associated Press

911 call conveyed fear in police shooting

HONOLULU — Honolulu police on Friday released the 911 call a frightened woman made about a stranger in her home, which led to officers shooting and killing him.

“I don’t know him,” she told the dispatcher, who asked her several times about the man’s ethnicity.

“Is he white? Is he Black? Is he local?” the dispatcher asked. The woman, who sounded like she was crying through much of the call, eventually answered, “Black.”

When gunshots rang out, the dispatcher exclaimed, “Oh my God.”

According to police, Lindani Myeni, 29, walked into the Honolulu home on April 14, sat down and took off his shoes.

When police arrived, an officer ordered Myeni onto the ground, but he assaulted an officer and punched him until he briefly lost consciousness, police said. A stun gun didn’t appear to have an effect on him, police said.

In body camera footage police released, three gunshots rang out before an officer said, “police.”

Myeni’s wife has filed a wrongful death lawsuit that said officers shined blinding high-intensity flashlights at him and that as a trained rugby player, he defended himself against an armed assailant.

Police were motivated by racial discrimination, the lawsuit alleged, noting the father of two was a South African national of Zulu ancestry.


Austin gives speech at Pearl Harbor

NAVAL STATION PEARL HARBOR — In his first major speech as Pentagon chief, Lloyd Austin on Friday called for developing a “new vision” for American defense in the face of emerging cyber and space threats and the prospect of fighting bigger wars.

Reflecting President Joe Biden’s promise to put diplomacy first in dealing with foreign policy problems, Austin said the military should provide leverage that diplomats can use to prevent conflict. His comments suggested a contrast with what critics call the militarization of U.S. foreign policy in recent decades.

“U.S. military isn’t meant to stand apart, but to buttress U.S. diplomacy and advance a foreign policy that employs all of our instruments of national power,” Austin said.

He chose to spell out his ideas at Pearl Harbor, at the center of U.S. military power in the Indo-Pacific region, reflecting U.S. concerns that China’s rapid modernization and growing assertiveness make it a powerful adversary. Notably, Austin in his speech did not explicitly mention China or North Korea.