Honolulu, HI – Recently released doorbell camera video footage shows the events leading up to Honolulu police officers shooting and killing 29-year-old Lindani Myeni in April.
The video was obtained by attorney James Bickerton, an attorney representing Myeni’s widow in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Bickerton was able to obtain the video evidence despite attempts from the City & County of Honolulu attorneys to block its release until after police and prosecutors had time to complete their own investigation.
“The police had three things in their possession on April 15 when they started making public statements about this case,” Bickerton said. “They had the 911 call, they had the body camera tape and they had the Ring video. They chose to release two out of the three. When you see all three together it tells a very different story.”
Lindani Myeni was shot and killed by police after he entered a house that was being rented by Da Ju Wang and his wife Shiying Wang.
The Ring doorbell video shows that Myeni arriving at the house within seconds of the couple entered the home that night. Myeni can be seen taking his shoes off before entering the home. Within 40 seconds of entering the house, Myeni can be seen quickly exiting as his presence seems to confuse the couple. As Myeni is exiting the house, the female occupant can be heard on the phone saying someone has just broke into her house.
At this point during the footage the Ring camera froze and stopped recording. When the recording resumes, Myeni can be seen exiting the house and saying “What’s wrong?” The female occupant responds, saying “Who are you?”
Myeni says, “I know you guys.” He asks to use their phone and then exits the house again. He can be heard apologizing multiple times as he leaves the house.
Shortly after Myeni leaves the home, police arrive.
Police body camera footage shows the officer approaching Myeni with a weapon in hand.
One of the officers shouts at Myeni to, “Get on the ground!”
Myeni can be heard saying, “Who are you? Who are you?”
A struggle between Myeni and police officers ensues. A stun gun fired by police either malfunctions or has no effect on Myeni. One of the officers can be heard saying, “Shoot him.” The police video shows that an officer fired several gunshots before saying, “Police!”
According to the wrongful death lawsuit filed by his widow, Myeni would not have known that the people shining bright lights in his eyes that night were police. The lawsuit goes on to explain that he most likely mistook the house for a similar looking building that houses a temple next door.
The day after the shooting, then-HPD Chief Susan Ballard held a press conference regarding the encounter. During the conference she said the shooting was justified because the officers’ lives were in jeopardy.
A statement from the lawyers who released the video said Honolulu police “tried to convince the public that this was a burglary and that Lindani Myeni was acting erratically; but the doorbell video we have now obtained from the owner shows that HPD knew all along these stories were untrue.”
The statement added: “We have also compelled the City to turn over unredacted body cam footage in its original format, producing much better quality audio and images than the version that HPD played for the press on April 16, 2021.”
Video of the encounter between police and Myeni can be seen here.