Ka Leo, the UH Manoa campus newspaper, has two stories this week worth noting.
A column by an anonymous author (“Witnessing violence? An HPD arrest“) recounts an incident in which he (I’m presuming a “he” based on the story) saw a young man running from police and tackled and held him until the police caught up.
Then the bad stuff happened.
As the first four police officers swarmed over the boy, I saw each of the cops throwing elbows into the boy’s back after he was already handcuffed, along with punches to his stomach. They hit him wherever they could except for the face. Still standing five feet away, I felt guilty because I stopped this person, thinking that I was doing the right thing.
One officer noticed that I was watching them beat the boy and stood in front of me to obstruct my view, but I was still able to see. As he did this, one of the officers beating the boy made eye contact with me and realized I was watching every move they made, at which point he began to scream, “Stop resisting!”
The boy was not resisting, and his hands were cuffed behind his back. By the time the officers caught up to us, the boy didn’t have enough energy to lift himself off the ground, let alone resist the four men pummeling his ribs and abdomen with their fists.
Within another couple minutes, two more officers came up and began repeatedly kicking the boy in the knee; I stopped counting after the first five kicks. I should have let the kid get away because no one deserves this kind of beating. I couldn’t take anymore and began to walk away from the six cop cars and 12 officers. As I left, I turned my head and saw one officer bending the boy’s right leg toward his buttocks, twisting his ankle outward as if he was going to snap it.
So who are the criminals here? I hope that Ka Leo will follow up and, at minimum, provide more details of the incident to the City Council and the Police Commission so that the incident can be investigated.
The second article is a short interview with UH President M.R.C. Greenwood (“Greenwood talks politics, athletics“).
What caught my eye here was Greenwood’s admission that it was a mistake to have been drawn directly into issues of athletics, which by NCAA rules are supposed to be in the control of the UH Manoa Chancellor.
Though Greenwood says she doesn’t have many regrets about her tenure at UH so far, one process that she wished she had handled differently was her role in the university’s move to the Mountain West Conference.
“Sometimes, you do something you think is okay, and it has reverberations you don’t expect,” Greenwood explained. “I really probably should have said no, but I was asked to do it at the time by the board leadership, so I did it.”
Though she eventually figured out the job, the president says that her involvement in the transition constituted an overstep of authority on her part.
“It confused the roles of the university’s president and the chancellor at M?noa with respect to athletics.”
Greenwood goes on to say bluntly that Division 1 athletics are a money loser, not only in Hawaii but across the country. Few of the athletic programs competing at this level are able to be self-supporting, and UH isn’t one of them.
“If we’re going to stay Division I for the future, the state’s going to have to help invest in it,” Greenwood told Ka Leo.
That’s a pretty direct message. Will anybody listen?