LIHU‘E — More than a hundred people gathered Wednesday afternoon at the Department of Motor Vehicles in the Lihu‘e Civic Center to advocate for Black Lives Matter.
“I don’t know why they chose the DMV,” said Michael Drake, monitoring traffic at the open-by-appointment-only office in the interest of health and safety for everyone. “We just got word this morning that something was going to happen.”
The Black Lives Matter were joined by advocates calling for justice in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis when a police officer was caught on video pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck, last week.
Associated Press said Wednesday, Derek Chauvin must now defend himself against an accusation of second-degree murder. The three other officers at the scene were charged for the first time with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Chauvin was initially charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Those charges still stand.
All four were fired last week following the incident. If convicted, they could be sentenced to up to four decades in prison.
Wednesday’s peaceful demonstration included a walk to Rice Street where the group was met by auto horns from motorists heading home from work.
The group turned off Umi Street, and following a walk back to the Lihu‘e Civic Center, stopped for a photo with the Kaua‘i Police Department officers who were on duty at the lawn of the historic County Building.
“This touches me,” said KPD Captain Rod Green from behind the sea of sign-wavers along Kuhio Highway attracting more horns. “I look at them, and it touches me, personally.”
Tiffany Sagucio, the reigning Miss Kaua‘i Filipina 2019, will be joined by some of her friends when she hosts a Black Lives Matter peaceful gathering, Saturday in front of the historic County Building, starting at 11 a.m.
“This is my first time having such a passion and spark for a social issue,” Sagucio said. “This is super important to me a there have been so many inhumane cases on the mainland involving the police and people of color. Although there are not many black people here in Hawai‘i, I would just like to share that we are still a melting pot of cultures that continue to listen, and care for one another.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.