Council indemnifies officers in shooting of Maui Woman

The County Council voted Tuesday to indemnify two police officers involved in the fatal shooting of a Maui woman earlier this year. The family of Lisa Kaina, who was killed Jan. 23, has sued the county and the officers, alleging wrongful death and the use of excessive and deadly force. Maui police officers Nelson Johnson and Allen De Lara, who are named as defendants in the lawsuit, were indemnified by the council's unanimous vote. That means the county will pay for any monetary damages for which they are found liable in the suit. Kaina was killed by a single shot that struck her in the head when the two officers ordered her to stop. She allegedly stole a rental car and led police on a high-speed chase into Paia, where she crashed into a police patrol car and a tree as she tried to get away.  Family members and some witnesses are criticizing Maui police for the pursuit and fatal shooting of a 27-year-old mother of three who was driving an allegedly stolen car in Paia on Friday. Maui police said an officer shot and killed Lisa KainaFriday afternoon when she refused to stop and tried to reverse the 2004 white Cadillac into another officer after a pursuit that ended on the sidewalk fronting Bank of Hawaii. "The police had no right shooting her," said Kaina's brother, Andy Tomita. Tomita said based on his talks with eyewitnesses, the Cadillac was unable to reverse or move forward, because police cars were in the back of her and the front was blocked by a traffic sign. "She had her hands in the air," he said. "My sister was cornered in." Tomita said a police officer got out of the car, approached the driver's side with the windows up and fired at point- blank range, striking Kaina twice in the head.[more] and [more]