Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Unacceptably Bad Official Behavior on Kauai

Do you all realize the whole world was watching you for a couple days late last August 2007? Do you really expect to use the following kinds of tactics and equipment on the free people of Kauai? The world will be watching. It would become the worst PR the "Aloha State" has shown the world in many years.

From http://www.islandbreath.org/:

"Don’t Busta Move Dayne!"
by Juan Wilson on 5 May 2008

"On Wednesday, April 30th an anti-GMO meeting was held in Hanapepe and the United Church for Christ. Among the sixty or so people attending were Richard Hoeppner, of People for the Preservation of Kauai, and Dayne Aipoalani, of the Kingdom of Atooi. Dayne was with his wife Toni and twenty month old daughter Alana.

Dayne and Richard have known each other and worked together. Richard is a retired police detective and Dayne wanted to have the Kingdom of Atooi marshals get some formal police training, especially in conflict resolution, and mediation.

The two also have worked against the Superferry coming to Kauai and against Syngenta spraying herbicides next to Waimea Canyon Middle School. Dayne and Toni had become alarmed because neighborhood children had become sick and even one of their own had become ill after Syngenta spraying.

The anti-GMO meeting broke up about nine p.m. The Dayne and the family got in their truck and headed to the parking lot exit to get on the highway going west and home to Kekaha. When he got to the stop sign at the highway Dayne noticed a darkened police cruiser parked next to Hanapepe Park turn on its lights and pull up to the stop sign opposite him.

Suspecting something, Dayne did not pull out onto the highway, but waited for the police car to move first. It didn’t. Fifteen seconds went by. Suddenly the cop car turned right onto the highway heading west. Dayne followed him.

As Dayne pulled away he noticed two vehicles in the parking lot turn on their lights. A SUV and a sedan. They got onto the highway behind him. At this time Rich Hoeppner was preparing to leave the church too. Rich drove east towards Kalaheo.

As Dayne continued west there was little traffic as he came to Moi Street. But there another police cruiser was parked. It fell into line behind him and the two unmarked vehicles. In less than a minute Dayne was passing the National Guard facility on the makai side of the highway. Three police cruisers joined the parade.

The police cruisers all at once turned on their flashers and in front of Salt Pond Store pulled Dayne over and boxed him in. Police swarmed Dayne’s truck. From the unmarked SUV four SWAT police emerged in camo and vests. They carried gas canisters and other special equipment.

The police team was lead by police officers Steve Sueoka and Detective Hank Barriga. Dayne knew he was in trouble because of Sueoka’s role in the August 2007 Superferry demonstrations. In December of last year KPD Chief Darryl Perry recognized Sueoka for his exceptional assistance of the United States Coast Guard during that time.

After Dayne’s car was surrounded by the police and SWAT team there was a lot of yelling. Sueoka said; “You are under arrest!”

Dayne said; “What for? What did I do? Wait a minute.”

Dayne was asked and refused to leave his truck. He got on his cell phone and called friends for help.

Richard Hoeppner got a call as he was passing Kalaheo. He turned the car around and headed for Salt Pond Store.

Sueoka continued; “We have a warrant.”

Dayne answered, "I’m not getting out of the car until I know what’s going on."

Sueoka showed Dayne the warrant. As it turned out the warrant the police were carrying was for failure to show up at a plea hearing on the charge of impersonating an officer. During the August Suerferry demonstrations Dayne carried a badge identifying himself as an officer of the Kingdom of Atooi. He never claimed to be a KPD policeman.

The warrant regarding the plea hearing was not applicable because Dayne had demonstrated to the court that he as at the hospital emergency room at the time of the hearing. The court had excused him without correcting the warrant paperwork.

This came out in the exchange between Sueoka and Dayne. Sueoka said that if Dayne had paperwork to prove his excuse on him there would be no arrest.

Dayne did not have the documents in the car. Referring to all the men and material used in the arrest proceeding Dayne countered, “Why didn’t you just call me on my phone to come in and take care of this matter?” Pointing out that Dayne’s cellphone number was prominently written on the warrant.

Suekoa had had enough, “We have a warrant for you! We have to execute our order!”

By this time Rich Hoeppner had made the last leg of his way to Salt Pond Store on foot. The police had closed the main highway. Some of Dayne’s people from the Kingdom of Atooi were arriving to witness the scene. More police arrived. Toni thought there might be as many as thirty policemen then.

Police were breaking up any groups of passerby greater than three. No public assembly was allowed for local people. Richard was able to get to the front of Salt Pond Store when one policeman asked him if he wanted to get a newspaper. Richard asked the policeman if that wasn’t Dayne’s truck in the middle of all the trouble. Then Richard was confronted by another KPD officer, D. Martin, who called out that “We know who you are. I saw you at the Superferry!” and told him to get his paper and get out of there.

The police proceeded to yank open the doors on Dayne’s truck. Police officers tried, unsuccessfully, to pull Dayne from his truck. SWAT team members pushed cans of gas in Dayne’s face. They opened up the back to expose Alana. He became concerned his wife and daughter would be caught in the middle of a violent confrontation. He sensed that the actions of the police seemed to be an attempt to provoke him into making a mistake.

Dayne relented. He told Suekoa and Barriga that he would get out of the truck if they did not harass his family, adding,

“I’ll go with you guys, but I’m not under your jurisdiction.” Dayne was never read his rights when they took him down.

Dayne was brought to the Lihue station, booked and given a copy of the arrest record. The bail is set at $2,175. Immediately friends and family tried to call a 24/7 bail bondsman to free Dayne. Toni and Richard found that none would respond that night.

While in Lihue an unidentified police officer asked Dayne about the Iolani Palace occupation by sovereignty advocates on Oahu. He was casually asked how many of his people were there. Dayne won’t be free that night.

Later the police took the arrest record from him. Dayne was taken to the Kauai Correctional County Center (KCCC) and spent the night in jail without bond. Richard was up all night trying to free Dayne.

Toni drove home quite upset. She was not followed but got a call shortly from a friend who had spotted two police cruisers parked in the dark down her street watching her house.

The next morning a guard at KCCC also asks Dayne about the Iolani palace incident. apparently sovereignty activists anywhere in the state were being connected to the palace occupation. Later Dayne was transfered to court, not in his own clothes but in an orange jumpsuit in shackles on his hands and feet. Toni and Richard Hoeppner was at the court the next morning and were very upset. Before the the judge, Kathleen Watanabe, Dayne stated,

“There was no notification of a court date after I missed my plea hearing.”

The judge said that no notification was necessary. A plea of not guilty was entered and a jury trail on the impersonation of an officer was set for June 30th. Toni had pulled together the bail money. After some more legal hassles Dayne was finally free to go home around three in the afternoon.

Sometime after, early Friday morning, that Richard had a heart attack. He was flown to Oahu and is still in the hospital. Dayne sister Keikeilani went over to visit him.

One lesson to be learned from this behavior by the Kauai Police Department is how seriously the connections between the anti-Superferry, anti-GMO and the sovereignty movement are taken by Hawaiian authorities. Dayne is involved with all three and he is Hawaiian. This makes him a danger to the status quo.

If you carefully follow the events of the night it becomes clear that the KPD was stalking Dayne Aipoalani with a great deal of manpower, equipment and expense.

That kind of police action might be appropriate for arresting an armed murderer or to bust a meth factory, but not to execute a warrant on a failure to make it to court on a charge of carrying a “phoney” badge. This huge KPD effort was over a failed court appearance where there was a medical excuse on record.

It is further evident to me that the police were trying to taunt Dayne, to make him angry, to make him make a mistake - the result would have easily provokes a violent response by the poilce. This kind of baiting is unforgivable behavior for a force of professional “peace keepers”.

God forbid you are on their list for your activities and have an open can of beer at the beach or are having a fight with your spouse. Don’t tase me bro!"

From http://www.islandbreath.org/:

"We don't need KPD in riot mode"
by Koohan Paik on 5 May 2008

"Besides being the man who spearheaded the anti-superferry movement with his legendary petition, Rich is the Chief of Police for the pacifist sovereignty group, The Kingdom of Atooi. Sadly, the group's members have lately been a target of intense harrassment by the Kauai Police Department.

Just last Wednesday, Rich was so upset over having witnessed a level of injustice against one of it's leaders, Dayne Aipoalani, that his heart gave out within thirty-six hours.

(He's thankfully in shape, though, currently in a Honolulu hospital awaiting surgery.)

Those who don't like to draw a causal connection between the police harrassment and the heart attack must still acknowledge that this is a textbook case of a stressful situation being followed up by a near-fatal health condition.

It all happened last Wednesday night after the GMO talks by Drs. Pang and Valenzuela, at the Hanapepe United Church of Christ. Dayne, Rich's friend, was present at the meeting to voice his belief that there is indeed a causal connection linking the west-side pesticide spraying with the sick children and teachers. His daughter goes to one of the schools that was evacuated.

While driving home from the meeting with his wife and daughter, Dayne was stopped by a large number of cops in perhaps a dozen or more cars, who had apparently staked him out. Some were in full-on riot gear. They tried to provoke him into arrestible behavior, but to no avail. They ended up shackling and hauling him off to jail on a contempt warrant for missing a court appearance.

Rich Hoeppner saw Dayne get apprehended and followed him and the KPD guys to the jailhouse, where he advocated for his friend.

Never mind that Dayne had a doctor's excuse for missing his court date, and that the excuse was indeed in the records.

This kind of amped-up take-down shake-down is totally uncalled for.


The event was extremely jarring to Rich, who happens to be an ex-Chief of Police himself and has therefore thought a great deal about right-and-wrong and appropriate police protocol. Given that, you can imagine his pulse quickening as he witnessed an innocent man terrorized by so-called "police enforcement officers."

Later, the next night, Rich was struck by the heart attack and airlifted to Honolulu.
Should we let our community slip mindlessly into a militarized police state? Do we need to give tasers, shields, bullet-proof vests and riot gear to these individuals who are indistinguishable from smarmy thugs?

It'll be Clockwork Orange right here in "paradise." Though we are now faced with so many important struggles on our tiny island, we must stand up and speak out against this. Once it's done, turning back will be near impossible."

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