Honolulu cop remains armed and on active duty despite allegations of mental health issues amid trial

Honolulu cop remains armed and on active duty despite allegations of mental health issues amid trial

A Navy officer had to turn in his firearms to the HPD for lesser trouble.

A Honolulu police sergeant remains on duty with a gun even though he says in a lawsuit against the police union that he suffers from a litany of mental health issues.

As recently as March 22, David “Kawika” Hallums, said in a legal complaint that he experienced “severe emotional distress, mental trauma”, “extreme mental anguish, outrage” and “mental illness severe that manifests in (his) severe daily stress levels, anxiety, insomnia, rapid heart rate and depression.”

Reached by phone, Hallums said he was on duty, but referred further questions to his attorney, Bosko Petricevic, who did not respond to a request for comment.

HPD spokeswoman Michelle Yu confirmed Hallums’ active duty status.

Honolulu Police Department Sgt. David “Kawika” Hallums remains an armed police officer despite claiming to have suffered from mental health issues. (Hawaii News Now/2022)

Hawaiian law prohibits people “diagnosed with a significant behavioral, emotional, or mental disorder” from owning a firearm without medical documentation that the disorder no longer affects them.

It’s unclear whether Hallums has been medically diagnosed with the issues described in the lawsuit.

Eric Seitz, a Honolulu attorney who has sued police involved in a number of high-profile misconduct cases, said Hallums’ case creates a significant risk to the city and county of Honolulu.

“If he were to get involved in a situation where someone was to be injured, it would create tremendous liabilities for the city and the county,” Seitz said.

“It really is a very dangerous situation. If he claims to have that degree of impairment, it should certainly reflect whether or not he carries a firearm in the course of policing,” he said. “At a minimum, they should have him assessed.”

HPD did not respond to further questions about Hallums and whether he underwent a psychological evaluation after claiming he suffered from mental illness.

HPD has a system to help officers in distress, according to Chief Joe Logan.

“We have an early recognition program where supervisors see someone who might be struggling and advise them to seek mental health assistance,” Logan said in an interview with Civil Beat in February.

“Depressed and homesick”

In 2021, the HPD asked a Navy officer to surrender his firearms after he indicated, during the process of registering them, that he had received medical treatment for feeling “depressed and homesick”. He owned his guns legally before moving to Hawaii.

Nevertheless, the HPD informed the man, a Navy crypto warfare officer trained in the use of firearms, that the department had discovered that he “may have received or is currently receiving treatment or counseling” and asked him to hand over his weapons until he could provide written information. documentation from a physician that he is “no longer affected by substance abuse, addiction, mental illness, disorder, or defect.”

The officer, Michael Santucci, sued the city and county of Honolulu in April 2022, and in November a federal judge ruled he could not be denied a gun license for seeking advice to feel depressed and homesick.

Hallums filed his first lawsuit in May 2022 against the Hawaii State Police Officers Organization and a number of its officials, alleging they forced him out of his post as vice president. of the union after threatening to denounce illegal activities. SHOPO President Robert Cavaco and Vice President Stephen Keogh remain on restraining duty as the trial continues.

A recent amended complaint reiterated mental health issues, according to Hallums, that are the result of the actions of SHOPO officials.

SHOPO decided to dismiss the case, saying Hallums had “double dipped” when he received HPD’s trust leave pay and money from SHOPO.

The union declined to comment further on this story.

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