Friday, December 6, 2002

State of Hawaii

Gov pardons
Hawaiian activist

The list also includes a police officer
who was guilty of assault

By Debra Barayuga

A Hawaiian activist who served time for firearms offenses and a former police officer convicted of assault are among the 78 people pardoned this year by former Gov. Ben Cayetano as he left office.

Dennis "Bumpy" Kanahele, longtime advocate of Hawaiian sovereignty, said the pardon validates his innocence.

Kanahele was convicted of firearms and other offenses stemming from a 1987 raid at the Makapuu Lighthouse. Kanahele and his supporters claimed the federal property, saying it was native Hawaiian land and they were citizens of the Nation of Hawaii.

Authorities raided the property, and Kanahele was accused of threatening officers with a shotgun. He spent about 11 months in the Oahu Community Correctional Center.

Kanahele does not deny they brought weapons into the settlement but said they were only for protection after unknown "goons" began hanging outside the locked gates that led to the lighthouse area.

Had there been any truth that he was threatening to shoot officers with a shotgun, they would have shot him, he said, but they did not.

"I think the pardon validates my whole thing about not having the shotgun, threatening and waving it around," Kanahele said. "More so, I'm happy that puts that question to rest. Make me feel I was right."

Kanahele, who also was sentenced to eight months in federal prison in 1998 for using his body to block a deputy U.S. marshal from arresting native Hawaiian fugitive and convicted tax protester Nathan Brown, has learned that working with rather than against the system has yielded better results.

He later served as a member of the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board and the Waimanalo Health Center board. Currently, he is executive director of the nonprofit Aloha First, an organization dedicated to educating and bettering the condition of Hawaiians. He is also working on reactivating the Nation of Hawaii to keep its ongoing fight for self-determination and self-governance in the limelight.

Former police officer Paul "Duke" Hospodar was sentenced in 1984 to a year of probation and 20 hours of community service and ordered to pay $692 in medical costs to a bar patron he assaulted while off duty. The victim lost several teeth.

State of Hawaii

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --