That’s what happened the night Lindani Myeni was killed on video.
That’s what happened the night Lindani Myeni was killed on video.
Video footage from a surveillance camera at the home where a 29-year-old South African man was shot and killed by police following a fight with officers captures him entering the home and then quickly leaving while apologizing to the couple who called police.
The footage was reviewed by Honolulu police on the evening of the shooting, according to Lindani Myeni’s family’s attorney, James J. Bickerton.
Lindani Myeni died of multiple gunshot wounds on April 14 after he was shot during a fight with police officers responding to a 911 call from a woman who said an unarmed Myeni walked into then out of the home she was staying in.
Footage from a Ring Home Security Camera packaged with previously unreleased body-worn camera footage from responding Honolulu police officers was sent to media this morning by Bickerton, who is representing the family of Lindani Myeni in a wrongful death lawsuit against the officers, HPD and the city.
Bickerton has said Myeni believed the home he entered was the ISKCON Hawaii temple at nearby 51 Coelho Way.
In the video, Myeni, a husband, father and former professional rugby player is seen jogging to catch up with a couple entering the home at 91 Coelho Way in Nuuanu on the evening of April 14.
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The video is captured from the door facing the semi-circular driveway fronting the home.
It begins with the lights of two cars driving in, and then Da Ju “Dexter ” Wang is seen walking into the home with his wife, Shiying “Sabine ” Wang following shortly after.
Myeni is wearing a long-sleeved shirt, a face mask, and his umqhele, a Zulu warrior headband, and takes his shoes off before entering the home.
Sabine Wang stops and looks at Myeni as he bends down to remove his shoes.
Myeni enters the home for a brief moment, prompting Sabine Wang to pretend to make a phone call to 911 operators, and Myeni is seen exiting the home and standing in front of the door as Sabine says, “Hello, someone just break in, breaking into my house … he’s in front of our door,” she says, as Myeni stands outside.
Dexter can be heard saying, “we have no temple.”
Sabine Wang then calls 911 for real and says “Lindon from South Africa” is at their home. The operator asks if Myeni is armed, shouting at the couple or seems confused. Wang says no.
Myeni, looking confused, walks toward the door and asks the couple, “what’s wrong”
“Who are you?,” shouts Sabine Wang.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” says Myeni. “I know you guys though. May I see your phone?”
Sabine Wang tells the 911 operator that Myeni tried to go outside.
Dexter Wang can be heard talking to the home’s owner, James H. Hall, saying he doesn’t know “what is going” on and that “he says his name is Lindon.”
Myeni is then seen walking out of the home. He puts his shoes on and walks toward his car.
He turns one final time toward the doorway and raises his hand while saying, “sorry.”
Dexter Wang, in a calm voice, tells Hall, “he apologized and he just left.”
Sabine Wang, sounding frightened, tells the 911 operator she is afraid to go outside.
“Yes I see, car is here. He’s still in the community. I think the police officer can stop him,” she says to the 911 operator.
The 911 operator asks Sabine Wang if she remembers what the car looks like. Sabine can be seen yelling to the driving police officers, “that’s him.”
The footage shows an officer engaging Myeni.
“Get on the ground, get on the ground, get on the ground now, get on the ground, get on the ground now,” says one of the police officers, before Myeni punches him in the face.
“Who are you,” shouts Myeni, as he attacks. “Who are you?”
An officer is heard yelling, “taser, taser, taser, taser.”
There is a struggle as the taser does not stop Myeni.
“Shoot him,” says an officer, before a single gunshot is fired.
Video Reveals Details Of Events Leading To HPD’s Killing Of Lindani Myeni
The Ring video obtained in a wrongful death lawsuit shows Myeni repeatedly apologizing to the occupants of a house he walked into.
By Nick Grube Christina Jedra / About 12 hours ago
Reading time: 6 minutes.
Newly released video footage shows the moments that led up to Honolulu police officers shooting and killing 29-year-old Lindani Myeni in April after a frantic woman called 911 to report that he had broken into the house where she was staying.
The video, which was made public Tuesday, comes from attorney James Bickerton, who represents Myeni’s widow, Lindsay, in a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the city and the police officers.
The footage is a composite of surveillance video from a Ring doorbell security camera, 911 audio recordings and newly obtained body camera footage from the officers who killed Myeni.
Bickerton obtained the evidence despite attempts by attorneys for the City & County of Honolulu to block its release until after police and prosecutors have completed their own investigation.
The video shows, among other things, Myeni apologizing to the woman who called the police and leaving her residence of his own volition. The last thing he said before police arrived was, “Sorry.”
The woman, meanwhile, is seen and heard on the Ring video crying to a 911 dispatcher, saying that she was scared. She said he was unarmed and not yelling at her or her husband.
The video then shows the woman following Myeni outside after he left. As officers arrived, she pointed at him in the dark and shouted, “That’s him! That’s him!”
“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.”
Honolulu police officers shot and killed Myeni on April 14 at 91 Coelho Way in Nuuanu.
The following day, then-HPD Chief Susan Ballard held a press conference in which she said the officers were responding to a report of a burglary. She said the suspect, Myeni, had entered the home and exhibited “odd behavior” before leaving and assaulting three police officers, all of whom were sent to the hospital.
Ballard said that shooting Myeni was justified because the officers’ lives were in jeopardy. The department then supplied copies of redacted body camera footage and a recording of the 911 call to the press.
On April 21, Myeni’s widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city, which allowed Bickerton to subpoena more body camera footage, the 911 tape and the Ring video recording from 91 Coelho Way. Bickerton also conducted depositions with some of the main players, including James Hall, the owner of the multi-unit house, and the Chinese tourists who were staying there, Da Ju “Dexter” Wang and his wife, Shiying “Sabine” Wang, the woman who called the police.
The new information, including the Ring video footage, Bickerton said, helps support his client’s theory that Myeni went to the wrong house on April 14 while trying to find a nearby temple. The ISKCON Hawaii temple is located at 51 Coelho Way, which is adjacent to Hall’s property.
The video shows two cars pulling up to Hall’s home at 91 Coelho Way around 8 p.m. The Wangs can be seen walking into the house with Myeni following close behind while wearing a face mask and traditional Zulu headband that Bickerton said would be typical for him to put on when visiting a church or temple.
Before Myeni goes inside he does what many Hawaii residents do before stepping into someone else’s home — he takes off his shoes.
For about 40 seconds, Myeni is inside the front door as voices can be heard, although it is difficult to discern exactly what is being said.
Myeni then backs out of the house as Sabine Wang can be heard saying someone had broken into her house. During her deposition, Bickerton said, Wang said she was just pretending to call the authorities. A few seconds later she decided to dial 911 for real.
According to the audio from that call, Wang told Myeni to “please leave.” Bickerton says Dexter Wang can be heard in the background saying, “We have no temple.”
Sabine Wang told the dispatcher that Myeni had identified himself by his first name and said that he was from South Africa. When asked if he was armed or shouting, Wang told the dispatcher, “No.”
Wang can be heard crying throughout much of the phone call, even as Myeni repeatedly apologizes to her as he leaves.
“What’s wrong?” Myeni asked.
“Who are you?” Wang cried back.
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Myeni responded. “I know you guys though. Can I see your phone?”
The video shows Myeni putting on his shoes and walking away into the dark as he says “sorry” one last time. The Wangs both walk outside to see if Myeni is still there.
Dexter Wang is on the phone with someone Bickerton says is the landlord, Hall. Wang tells Hall that Myeni apologized and left. Sabine Wang, meanwhile, continues to cry, telling the dispatcher, “I’m so afraid to go outside.”
As officers arrive, she directs them to Myeni.
Body camera footage shows an officer pointing a handgun in Myeni’s direction. It’s dark and the only images illuminated by the officer’s flashlight can be made out.
“Get on the ground!” the officer shouts. “Get on the ground now!”
The camera shakes as Myeni begins to fight with the officers.
“Who are you?” he yells. “Who are you?”
The video shows an officer deploying a Taser as Myeni continues to fight.
“Taser, taser, taser!” an officer cries out.
“Shoot him!” someone yells just before the first shot is fired.
“Fuck you,” another officer says as three more shots ring out. “Police!”
Honolulu Prosecuting Attorney Steve Alm announced investigations into the police response in April. His office has not made an announcement in the Myeni case.
Last week, Alm shared that he had presented evidence to a grand jury in another incident, the police shooting of 16-year-old Iremamber Sykap, but the grand jury did not return an indictment.
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