Senator Laura Thielen opened the conversation with the honor students from Remington College with a brief history of the Hawaii State Legislature Women’s Caucus.
The Hawaii Women’s Legislative Caucus is concerned that police protect the safety of all victims and response to all incidents of domestic violence as serious crimes. Senator Thielen voiced her concerns that the State Commission on the Status of Women has documented over 30 separate instances where police officers responded inappropriately to occurrences of domestic violence – in some cases not following State law or police internal policies. The Senator told the students that she feels the police oversight is insufficient in regards to its officers’ misconduct which is currently “self-governed”.
“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” explained Senator Thielen quoting the historian and moralist, Lord Acton.
At the Joint Women’s Legislative Caucus City Council Councilmembers Ann Kobayashi and Carol Fukunaga stated the police department is going “backwards in police reform.”
Senator Thielen emphasized that there is a need to target reform stating “domestic violence needs to be taken more seriously.”
Left to right around the table – Steven Hamel, William Moore Jr, Justine Fritz, Edwin Vilanueva, Jonathan Bussey, Deslynn Ching, Senator Laura Thielen, An Huynh and Criminal Justice Professor Aaron Hunger