A Honolulu police officer has been charged with assault.
The incident that happened in Palolo Valley in February was caught on camera and shows what appears to be 29-year-old officer Siave Seti body slam the victim into the ground.
Seti appeared in court on Friday, pleaded not guilty to the charge, and demanded a jury trial.
KHON2 spoke with valley residents on Saturday and many said they actually have a good working relationship with the police.
On Friday night, police stopped by the area where the alleged incident between Officer Seti and the victim took place.
A resident, who did not want to be identified, said Saturday that police are often called to this part of Palolo Valley. “There’s a lot of bad things that happen,” he said. “A lot of unlawful things that happen here.
“I’m not really a big fan of the police,” he added.
But when he was asked about the alleged assault involving Officer Seti, he replied “I do believe they’re doing their job. There’s only so much they can do.”
Palolo Neighborhood Board member Shaun St. Vincent said that while he doesn’t know what exactly happened between Officer Seti and the victim, the board has a “good working relationship” with the department.
“I am afraid people will draw an unfortunate conclusion,” he said, “so I ask everyone to give the officer and the victim their day in court.”
St. Vincent admits there has been increased police presence in the neighborhood. “We have not seen an instance where crime has escalated within the valley itself. There have been more reports because people have been more aware.”
He said the community has become more vigilant. There’s a sign posted outside one of the convenience stores, showing their relationship with the HPD.
“They’re taking the time to call the police department, to report on incidences,” St. Vincent said.