Tuesday, May 15, 2001

Police officers will
not be charged in
pursuit-related death

By Mary Adamski

The Department of the Prosecuting Attorney will not place charges against two police officers for a pursuit preceding a fatal traffic accident in Maili.

A review of evidence and witness statements did not indicate a "causal connection that would warrant imposing criminal negligence" charges against the officers, according to a news release yesterday.

Two men died in the Aug. 27 crash near Maili Point. George Uahinui, 28, was driving a stolen motorcycle on Farrington Highway when he collided with a car driven by Rayson Labaya, 22, as it emerged from a beach access road.

Police were following the eastbound motorcycle in an attempt to determine if it was stolen. Neither police vehicle had its siren activated or blue lights flashing, according to the prosecutor. Witnesses said the high-performance motorcycle may have been traveling at 100 miles per hour as it entered a curve in the road and struck Labaya's car.

The investigation indicated that the distance between motorcycle and pursuing police was lengthening and that what happened was dependent on Uahinui's own conduct. Alcohol and methamphetamine were found in Uahinui's body.

"Police officers' actions would normally be considered justified where the execution of their duties as public officers are authorized or required by law," said the release. It cited a 1998 U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that police officers would be held liable for a death during a chase only if their behavior was found to "shock the contemporary conscience."

E-mail to City Desk

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2001 Honolulu Star-Bulletin