Hawaii Prosecutor Says Killing of South African Man Justified

No charges in death of Lindani Myeni
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 4, 2021 6:15 AM CDT
Hawaii Prosecutor Says Killing of South African Man Justified
Lindani Myeni is standing on a beach in Waimanalo, Hawaii with his wife and two children.   (Myeni Family Photo/Bickerton Law Group via AP)

A prosecutor in Hawaii has said the high profile killing of a Black South African man by Honolulu police was justified. Per the AP, no charges will be filed in the death of Lindani Myeni, who was fatally shot in April. An investigation concluded he entered a home uninvited and physically attacked officers, the city's prosecuting attorney said. Per ABC News, Myeni was unarmed when he apparently accidentally entered the home of a neighbor. Myeni's widow says in a wrongful death lawsuit that her late husband may have confused the neighbor's home for a public temple. Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm said Myeni engaged in bizarre behavior preceding the incident, including interjecting himself in a situation where police were investigating a vehicle break-in and had to be told to go away by both the victim and officers.

Myeni then asked one of the officers for money to buy food and tried to get into the back of a police car, Alm said. From there, he drove a short distance to a home where tourists who didn't know him were staying. Wearing a feathered headband, he followed them into the house, told the woman “I have videos of you,” claimed a cat there was his and made comments about hunting. Though Myeni quickly left and was seen repeatedly apologizing in doorbell camera footage, a woman called 911. Body camera videos showed Myeni punching responding officers, leaving one with facial fractures and a concussion. Police tried other methods, including deploying a stun gun that wasn't effective on Myeni, before an officer fired a volley of three shots, Alm said. An attorney for Myeni's family called the prosecutor "a politician" who never intended to charge the officers. A civil suit is ongoing.
(More Lindani Myeni stories.)

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