KPD quiet on allegations against Chief

LIHU‘E — The Kaua‘i Police Department and the Kaua‘i Police Commission remained mum Wednesday after sustained allegations of Chief Todd Raybuck violating the county’s discrimination codes from a commission-led investigation were made public.

Raybuck, accused of making disparaging comments of Japanese culture and mocking Asian stereotypes through squinting, bowing and speaking in an accent in an internal complaint, was found guilty according to a Feb. 26 document obtained by The Garden Island written by commission Chair Catherine Adams.

A KPD public information officer said Raybuck would not be making comments at this time and directed questions to the Police Commission, a volunteer board that oversees the department.

Tuesday, the commission met for a special executive session to discuss the matter. Adams offered no additional updates Wednesday.

“We are not at liberty to provide additional details as this involves an active on-going complaint being reviewed in executive session,” Adams said in a statement.

Mayor Derek Kawakami is not privy to the complaint or the commission’s executive session discussions and has not spoken with Raybuck directly on the matter as of Wednesday.

“As leaders in our community, we are held to a higher standard and acts of discrimination cannot be tolerated,” Kawakami said Wednesday afternoon. “Our island has been faced with many challenges during this pandemic, that has been divisive at times, and our administration is committed to bringing people together.”

Kawakami, the grandson of a Japanese immigrant, said that while humor is often used as a way to bring people together, there is a line that should not be crossed in professional settings.

“Humor is a common way for us to embrace diversity and inclusivity. But not all humor is appropriate for the workplace, and there is a point at which humor shifts to hurt,” Kawakami said. “If these allegations are true, they are hurtful, particularly to Asian-Americans.”

From his interactions with Raybuck, Kawakami said he would be inclined to forgive.

“These allegations do not reflect the Chief Raybuck that I know and work closely with. If found to be true, I feel a deep obligation to forgive, and this will not impact my ability to work together with him moving forward to serve the people of Kaua‘i,” Kawakami said.

“I encourage our community to not let this be the focus of our police department and our island. This does not reflect us as a community, and it does not reflect the great work of our police officers and our first responders,” Kawakami said.”I humbly ask our people to not play the role of judge and jury, and that we give our Chief a chance to explain himself and his actions.”

The State of Hawai‘i Organization of Police Officers (SHOPO) which represents unionized KPD officers is awaiting final action made by the commission before issuing a statement.

The commission investigation concluded two incidents in which Raybuck violated Section II of the Policy Against Discrimination and created a hostile work environment for an officer based on race. One incident involved negative Japanese stereotypes were allegedly made during a meeting last year in which Raybuck was explaining why an employee of Japanese descent was not chosen for a promotion, according to the complaint and an audio recording that was submitted as evidence.

A separate investigation conducted through the county’s Department of Human Resources concluded that favoritism and non-selection for promotion in retaliation were not corroborated or lacked evidence.

Raybuck, hired in 2019 by the commission, came to Kaua‘i as a retired 27-year veteran of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

  1. Juan Cident March 11, 2021 4:09 am Reply

    So one incident and many of KPD’s officers have many incidents unbecoming of law enforcement officers and this is news on Kauai?

    Racists jokes are common practice everywhere including in TGI comments. More and more, people are toning it down but there’s several people that makes racist comments against Filipinos (Asians) and is anything done or said or is it front page news?

    Why the favoritism on one race of people and not equal coverage on another?

    If this is from one incident and the other was unfounded then what is the true purpose of this?

    One incident is not a pattern of behavior or preponderance of evidence to constitute smearing a professional career.

    What about the sexual harassment case that cost the county over a million dollars? What happened to that Assistant Chief who has been a subject of many indiscretions unbecoming?

    The public should not get fooled by KPD and its guardians of their syndicate powers and multinational criminal organizations.

    This has been played out and everyone should review the recording device and if the state of Hawaii is a one party or two party consent for audio recording.

    Now if it’s a two party consent then the Asian officer could have violated the HRC

    This is gonna get messy and cost the tax payers money.

    1. LMat March 11, 2021 9:36 am Reply

      COUNTLESS other issues in the KPD, past and present, and this minor indiscretion is what gets focused on…?!!
      This is why NOBODY trusts the KPD.
      Chief, most of us stand by you. Apologize, move on, do some housecleaning.
      Everyone knows there’s still bad apples in the KPD, don’t think Chief Raybuck is one of them.

  2. Sunny huihui March 11, 2021 4:27 am Reply

    If SHOPO terminates the Chief’s contract then we know SHOPO is racist as well.

    KPD officers in the past has cost millions of dollars in settlements.

    Former Chief and Assiant Chiefs covered up crimes.

    What about the 19 year old white kid that got killed by a kpd rookie who was used to stalk a person by using ESPN fantasy basketball and got that person email then KPD used subpoena authority to cyber stalk and leak information to criminals to attack that person.

    This has continued for over 10 years and they continue to abuse their power of authority to retaliate the exposure of public corruption in the department and their links to crimes.

    Review the Aurero Moore murder and who was involved but look at the PA at the time, DPA, and the Private Investigator hired (uncle of the murderer and former kpd sgt.) to locate the PA star witness.

    What about how KPD brass protected the suspected Kauai Serial Killer?

    The murders of Amber Jackson, Nola Thompson, and Lauren Kagawa?

    What is your confidence in the department?

    DLNR roles in attacks are also concerning. Look at all the former DLNR officers and where they came from (retired from kpd).

    I can tell you a judge had two kids stalk to retaliate and this is verifiable through public records via FOIA.

    Too much to mention and these are people who swore an oath to protect and serve.

    Who do they protect and serve is the question?

    Their Godfather Larry Mehau is dead!

    He even tried to 187 the man, the myth, the legend.

    1. Joe Public March 11, 2021 9:41 am Reply

      FYI – SHOPO has noting to do with the hiring/firing of the Chief of Police. The Police Commision does.

  3. Notra Dumass March 11, 2021 5:07 am Reply

    So with all of this being exposed, what ever happened to the officers who got got cheating to get promoted and received the pay?

    Is any theft through cheating when favoritism occurred when they gave the answers to one officer to pass an exam , is theft above $500 considered a class c felony? And are police officers held to the laws? Remember the KCC stolen safe that was found at a police officers property? Yeah tens of thousands of dollars are still missing. Where was that investigation?

    What about that phony Drug Abatement Unit in the PA office that leaked info to the drug dealers? Or was is kpd detectives cyber stalking and phone tapping that leaked info to the drug dealers that they were identified as a stash house that operated drug sales 24/7 and sold drugs and was busier than most fast food restaurants on Kauai.

    That stash house was connected to the executive office and then burned down by the drug dealers who no longer rented the drug shack.

  4. Patrick H Flores March 11, 2021 7:20 am Reply

    Regarding this matter, the proper processes must be allowed to function and let this county move forward. Forgiveness is often the best learning experience although that is a function of character. My hope is that the parties involved not allow public opinions determine the course of action taken.
    Patrick H Flores, Wailua Houselots

    1. RGLadder37 March 11, 2021 4:02 pm Reply

      I don’t think it’s forgiveness. The hiring practice of KPD must be properly followed. No thugs and no illiterates. Must be in good standing with the law. And able to comprehend basic vocabulary, math, and few computations. And pass. This should be followed so that you don’t get thugs as cops. Not knowing how to fill out a form. They must have good recruiting.

  5. jake March 11, 2021 8:47 am Reply

    This is how local dudes get rid or their “Haole” bosses. Just play the race card.

    1. Jesse March 11, 2021 10:55 am Reply

      1st issue – white, 2nd – in power, 3rd – not quitting fast enough

    2. CommonSenseish March 11, 2021 2:26 pm Reply

      Exactly what I was going to say. Guarantee all the complainers are locals who are all habut they gotta take orders from a white dude. I should start going around calling discrimination anytime I hear a local person call a white person “haole”. Crybabies.

    3. Ashley March 11, 2021 3:56 pm Reply

      Sad, but sounds about right.

  6. Khsgrad March 11, 2021 12:42 pm Reply

    But wait, $&@& Haole is a mainstay of the local language- no problems there- the hypocrisy is ridiculous

    1. Square March 11, 2021 4:09 pm Reply

      “Sunny skies shady characters” GREAT GREAT BOOK.

      1. Square March 11, 2021 4:14 pm Reply

        The only difference between us all humans is, skin color period. Success is based off Whitt and brains period. No matter what region of the world you go to. We all face discrimination, but it’s so lame. Too sensitive the world is. Nonetheless we gotta follow the rules and guidelines at whatever job we apply for, and if you break them? Then you face the consequences, be an alpha keep your opinions to your self when your at work period.

        Own up to your mistakes, that’s what makes you a true person.

  7. Local Haole March 11, 2021 4:56 pm Reply

    There is without a question racism involved in this case. But rather than it be from the chief toward specific KPD officers, it’s the other way around.

  8. Kamani March 12, 2021 6:43 am Reply

    Statements being made that discriminatory acts such as mimicking others of another race is common practice and that locals filing cases are “crybabies” is ludicrous and unacceptable in todays society. Tolerance of such behavior will eventually lead to accepting as the norm. Such comments are evidence that those that make these comments are apparently racist themselves.

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