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Three Honolulu officers charged in deadly shooting of teen suspect


Hawaii prosecutors charged three police officers in connection with the deadly shooting of a teenager, a week after a grand jury declined to indict the cops for the April death of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap.

Geoffrey HL Thom was charged with second degree murder for the shooting as Zackary K Ah Nee and Christopher Fredeluces each face charges of attempted murder in the second degree.

Thom fired 10 rounds into the rear of a stolen car Sykap was driving during a Honolulu police chase “without provocation,” prosecutors said. The car was allegedly linked to an armed robbery and burglary spree.

Eight of the bullets hit Sykap, who was pronounced dead following the chase, prosecutors said.

Fredeluces fired his gun once but did not hit the teen, according to court documents.

Ah Nee allegedly fired multiple shots at Mark Sykap, Iremamber’s brother who was riding in the car, leaving him injured.

The cops face life in prison without parole if convicted.

Interim Honolulu Police Department Chief Rade Vanic said he was surprised at the prosecutor’s choice to press charges after the grand jury declined.

“This is highly unusual, and we are not aware of a similar action having been taken in the past. While we await the court’s decision, we will continue to protect and serve the community as we have always done,” the top cop said, adding the officers will turn in their guns and be reassigned to desk work.

“We continue to trust the process and will continue to stand by our officers,” Malcom Lutu, the president of the state police officers’ union, said.

Deputy Prosecutor Christopher Van Marter said body footage could not confirm Thom’s claim that Sykap rammed the stolen car into his patrol vehicle.

The patrol car sustained “a few minor paint chips and some black scuffmarks,” Van Marter said. Police have refused to release the body camera footage of the police shooting.

An attorney representing Sykap’s family in a civil lawsuit was gratified by the criminal charges.

“We have suspected from the beginning when we began to get information about how the events unfolded, that the shooting was entirely unjustified,” Eric Seitz said.

“Now that we’ve seen the further evidence that’s contained and attached to the charges, there’s no question in our minds that this was an event that could have been and should have been prevented.”

With AP wires

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