One Honolulu police officer has been charged with murder, and two others face attempted murder charges in the fatal shooting of a 16-year-old boy that followed a high-speed chase, prosecutors said in a news release.
Iremamber Sykap was shot eight times through the rear window of a car — a white Honda — that police suspected had been stolen and used in a series of crimes, according to the Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. He was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital.
The teen’s brother, Mark Sykap, was struck by two bullets and survived.
Officer Geoffrey Thom, 42, was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly firing the shots that killed Sykap “without provocation.”
Officers Zackary Ah Nee, 26, and Christopher Fredeluces, 40, face second-degree attempted murder charges.
“The evidence supports the conclusion that the defendants’ use of deadly force in this case was unnecessary, unreasonable, and unjustified under the law,” the criminal complaints state.
Conviction on all charges each carries a mandatory minimum prison term of 20 years without the possibility of parole, according to the Tuesday news release.
CNN has attempted to reach the officers for comment and has been unable to determine whether they have attorneys.
The charges come less than a week after a grand jury declined to indict the officers on any charges in the April 5 shooting.
Prosecutors say body camera video contradicts the officers’ claims that Sykap attempted to use the car to ram them, putting their lives in danger. Sykap was not complying with officers’ demands but did not at any time pose a threat to their lives, the complaints state.
The body camera video has not been released to the public.
“There was no one in front of the white Honda, and there were no civilians on the sidewalk or anywhere in front of the white Honda,” the complaints state. “The evidence confirms that Defendant Thom did intentionally or knowingly cause the death of Iremamber Sykap by shooting (him) eight times.”
In a statement, interim HPD Chief Rade Vanic said “We are surprised by the Prosecuting Attorney’s announcement to seek charges against the officers after a grand jury comprised of citizens decided not to indict them. This is highly unusual, and we are not aware of a similar action having been taken in the past. While we await the court’s decision, we will continue to protect and serve the community as we have always done.”
The officers will have their police powers removed, and they will be assigned to desk duty, police told CNN Wednesday.
The head of the state’s police union, SHOPO, did not return CNN’s request for comment Tuesday. But after the grand jury initially declined to indict the officers last week, union President Malcom Lutu said in a statement, “Our officers have given their lives for these communities that we protect. Tell me what profession does that and gets pounded by the media and keyboard warriors out there for doing our jobs protecting you.”
The three officers are scheduled to make an initial appearance in court on June 25.