I am saddened and outraged by the verdict in the Deedy murder. The march, rally, and vigil was a mixture of protest and grieving. We need to mālama the Elderts family. They have suffered a lot.
I was stunned that the jury could not even agree on the lesser charge of manslaughter. I think the verdict shines a spotlight on the deep racism and violence of the system, where a drunk off-duty law enforcement agent, packing a gun, can get away with killing a man after picking a fight with him. The trial seemed to put Kollin on trial, as if to judge whether his life was worthy of protection under the law. The verdict sends a message that Hawaiian lives—like Palestinian lives and Black lives—are dispensable to the state. And that’s why the streets of Ferguson exploded in protest. The Deedy trial confirms that anti-Hawaiian racism and colonial oppression are alive and well in Hawaiʻi. I sense a growing frustration and anger in the community. What is the tipping point?
Photo by Ed Greevy