We Need a Qualified and Balanced Police Commission
Mayor Blangiardi announced his third pick for the Honolulu Police Commisision this week after his second nominee pick withdrew his name from consideration. Mayor Blangiardi also stated that he was, "not listening" and "not into reimagining our police department" when social justice advocates called for change.
Too many communities of color have unique and painful stories of experiencing racism. We can never completely undo the damage suffered. But we can – and we must – do everything we can to give people the support, resources, and redress they deserve.
Let's ensure together that the Honolulu Police Commission broadly represents the community it serves and is able to fulfill its duty to provide oversight of the Police Chief and police misconduct. It should have members who can impartially spot problem policies and offer a forum for developing reforms, accountability, and most importantly, trust in the process. How many taxpayer dollars are we going to keep paying out for police misconduct settlement cases?
Contact the Honolulu City Council and ask them to consider these questions when reviewing any nominee for the Police Commission:
- Will this nominee reduce public reluctance to file complaints?
- Will this nominee foster confidence in complainants that they will get their "day in court" through the hearing process?
- Will this nominee increase transparent scrutiny of police policies that lead to citizen complaints?
- Will this nominee increase opportunities for reform efforts or will they maintain the status quo?
- Will this nominee inspire trust that the Honolulu Police Commission is a strong, fully independent and accessible review board?
- Does this nominee understand and accept that racial disparities in policing are an issue of utmost importance that needs to be addressed?
Oversight bodies can only be effective when they are trusted by the public. We hope the next police commissioner is someone who will provide confidence in the integrity of the Honolulu Police Commission.