Roughly 300 people were in Kalaeloa Thursday night to protest a new wind farm in Kahuku. A clash between the large crowd and the Honolulu Police officers on the scene erupted.
“We were telling officers ‘please stop. Stop. Stop. Do not push the bikes against them,'” said Kamalani Keliikuli, an opponent of the Na Pua Makani wind farm.
Several kia’i, or protectors as they call themselves, said they were hurt when Honolulu Police bicycles were shoved into them.
“The HPD’s bicycle tire was on my foot, and the HPD bike handle bar was in my stomach,” Neva Fotu, another opponent, explained.
Hawaii State Senator Kurt Fevella said the clash began when one Honolulu Police Officer pushed a female into an embankment,
“They was not holding no line. They was pushing,” he said. “Behind us was a hill. There was no place for us to go.”
Fevella was captured on camera losing his cool. He told KITV4 he apologized to his family and friends but will not apologize to the officer who he says was the chief instigator.
Honolulu Police Deputy Chief John McCarthy denies Fevella’s and the kiai’s allegations of police misconduct. He said it was the officers who were the target of the aggression.
McCarthy said rocks were thrown at the solo-bike officers and one police officer was reportedly punched in the side of his head.
Of the 26 people arrested, three were arrested for harassing a police officer.
“Our officers have exercised a great amount of restraint. They’ve had to tolerate a lot of taunting, a lot of threatening, a lot of actions on the part of these protesters who use terms like ‘kapu aloha,’ which are nothing more than words,” he said.
To some kia’i, McCarthy’s words stung.
“It is because of kapu aloha that things did not escalate to where it could have,” said Kaukaohu Wahilani, another opponent.
“What was said in the press conference by HPD saddened my heart because it was very inaccurate,” said Sen. Fevella.
HPD said they will not release any of their video from Kalaeloa Thursday to the public, but people can request it from HPD.
There are seven turbines left to build. The kia’i aren’t backing down. More protests are expected.
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