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Teen who chained himself to gate says police used Taser on him at Kalaeloa protest  

Credit:  By Leila Fujimori and Andrew Gomes | Honolulu Star-Advertiser | www.staradvertiser.com ~~

The estimated 150 to 175 law enforcement officers outnumbered the 125 or so opponents of the AES Corp.’s wind turbine project again at Kalaeloa Wednesday night.

Police carried away a young man and a young woman at about 11:20 p.m., arresting them. They remained on the driveway – seated back-to-back on the pavement, their hands duct-taped together – after police warned the crowd to move.

Kaukaohu Wahilani, 52, of Waianae, one of the leaders of the group, called it overkill since the group maintained a nonviolent protest.

“It’s appearance of excessive force in the amount of numbers,” he said. “But they’ve been cordial and professional.”

Wahilani’s nephew, Stetson “Mana” Morales, who chained himself by the neck to a gate on Sunday night said that older officers were watching over him and were respectful that night, but then two younger officers took over.

He said one of the younger officers started punching him in the ribs and back. The officer then asked if he wanted to walk to the police cruiser, but he declined and joked that the officer’s punches were soft, Morales said.

That’s when, Morales said, the officer pressed his Taser against his body and used it like a stun gun, giving him a jolt, noting that he still had the chains around his neck.

“It was painful and it hurt, but hearing everybody chanting and singing, it gave me more mana,” said Morales, who turned 19 on Wednesday.

He said it felt “like all your muscles engage and are flexing at the same time. You feel like passing out.”

The police took him to Queen’s Medical Center West, where he said he spoke to a doctor. “I just wanted to get bailed out, so I refused a checkup,” Morales said. He added that he has a condition that prevents his body from producing adrenaline.

Michelle Yu, spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department, said she was unaware of any incident involving a Taser.

On Wednesday night, the group was subdued, and there were no taunts directed to officers.

Four trucks carrying wind turbine parts headed toward Kahuku at 11:41 p.m., 21 minutes later than Tuesday night, the group noted.

In Kahuku, close to 100 demonstrators of the Na Pua Makani wind farm were peacefully met by a roughly equal number of police officers at the entrance to the project site.

After the final warning from police for demonstrators to clear the project driveway, two people remained in an act of defiance and they were arrested at about 2:30 a.m. without any major incident.

The latest arrests brought to 111 the total number of arrests since the protests started Oct. 17.

At about 3 a.m., with police cordoning off the driveway, the four trucks with turbine tower sections made their way up to the project site where they are being assembled.

Source:  By Leila Fujimori and Andrew Gomes | Honolulu Star-Advertiser | www.staradvertiser.com

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments to query/wind-watch.org.

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