Off-duty officer was abusive in stop
: In August, I was "pulled over" by an off-duty police officer on Kamehameha Highway while I was driving through Temple Valley toward Kaneohe. I had passed him, as he was driving well below the posted 35 mph speed limit and there were at least 50 cars behind him and no cars in front for a mile and a half. I passed safely, noting the broken yellow line, and re-entered the lane in front of him just as the line became solid again. All of a sudden I heard a siren and looked to see if an emergency vehicle was approaching. The siren didn't quite sound like a bona-fide police or ambulance siren. I finally realized that it was coming from the blue SUV I had just passed. I did not know the driver was a police officer since his vehicle didn't have a light on the roof and the tinted windows prevented me from seeing inside. It crossed my mind that the driver might be someone impersonating a police officer to get women to stop. I stopped at a red traffic signal and the SUV suddenly pulled up beside me, half in the lane and half on the grass. The man rolled down his window and shouted my first name; it was frightening to be addressed with such familiarity and by someone so obviously enraged. He was wearing a blue uniform shirt with a badge sewn onto the shoulder. I started to ask how he knew my name but he interrupted and shouted my first name again. He was so mad his face was beet red. Twice, he shouted at me for passing him on a solid yellow line, and twice I told him the line was broken. By this time the traffic light had long since turned green and the drivers in back were growing impatient. I thought he was going to tell me to pull over if he was so sure I broke the law. Instead, he screamed at me, "Get outta here ... just get outta here." Can off-duty police officers in unmarked cars and no lights use their siren, look up your name on their car computer, and essentially block traffic to stop a person, scare the daylights out of them, and then verbally abuse them?
Answer: The Honolulu Police Department was not able to track down the officer involved.
In any case, the off-duty officer should not have confronted you, much less verbally abused you, said HPD spokesman Capt. Frank Fujii.
Off-duty officers should call for on-duty officers to respond, he said. In cases of imminent danger, there may not be enough time, but even then, off-duty officers should radio in for on-duty help, Fujii said.
In your situation, he said you could have called 911 and asked for a beat officer to respond.
If something like this happens again, Fujii advised getting a license plate number and other details to identify the officer involved. One recourse would then be to file a complaint with the Honolulu Police Commission, he said.
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