Settlement reached in KPD shooting

LIHUE — A federal court agreed to a stipulation that drops wrongful death claims against three Kauai police officers in the rooftop shooting of Richard “Dickie” Louis on Feb. 15, 2012.

Judge Derrick Watson of U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii, signed a stipulation order on Dec. 29, dismissing all claims against defendant officers Chris Calio, Henry Barriga and Sherwin Perez. The dismissal is with prejudice and would not allow new claims on the same facts to be brought against the officers.

The estate of Richard Earnest Louis and his children — Richard, Derrick, Kevin and Lynell (Tokuda) — filed a lawsuit against the county and the officers in 5th Circuit Court in February 2013. The family was represented by Lihue firm of Hempey & Meyers, and Honolulu attorney Myles Breiner. The court granted the county’s motion to remove the case to federal court in April 2013.

Attorney Gregory Meyers said the case has resolved itself and the agreement technically dismisses all counts against the KPD officers in exchange for a settlement with the County of Kauai. The county stepped up to accept responsibility in settling the case when it approved the authorization and damages of an undisclosed amount following a closed executive session on Dec. 10.

“Mr. Louis died nearly three years ago, and from the family’s perspective, they were ready for closure,” Meyers said. “Rather than dragging the emotions of this case out in further court proceedings, they decided to settle the case.”

County spokeswoman Sarah Blane said the court’s order dated Oct 21, 2014, found that the county acted appropriately in regards to the incident that led to the shooting death of Louis. The stipulation to dismiss charges against the county and named individuals was entered into by all parties including the officers in their individual capacities, she added.

“While the county has agreed to an out-of-court settlement, it has yet to be executed at this time,” Blane said.

Louis, 62, had 32 prior arrests, according to police, and was the subject of a multi-agency Hawaii Fugitive Task Force sweep that served 47 warrants and made 31 arrests on the day of the encounter. The $310,000 warrant was for Louis missing the last day of his trial at which a jury found him guilty of koa theft, weapons and drugs charges on Dec. 5, 2011.

Louis was shot six times and was pronounced dead about six hours later at Queen’s Hospital on Oahu. The civil action held the county and the officers liable for excessive use of deadly force in the shooting. There were more than 20 police cars and 50 law enforcement personnel including KPD SWAT on the scene.

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