[WATCH] Whistleblower Honolulu Police Officer Denny Santiago Public Testimony

A veteran police officer says he put his career on the line last week when he testified publicly before the city Police Commission about alleged corruption in the Honolulu Police Department.

Denny Santiago told the commission, which is the sole independent oversight body for HPD, that it needed to address what he described as a long-standing history of retaliation against those who speak out about wrongdoing within the ranks.

“There is some pretty screwed up stuff going on in the police department,” Santiago said. “We need you guys to help us out. People are taking care of their friends.”

Santiago’s comments, posted online by Civil Beat over the weekend, went viral on Facebook and Twitter, getting hundreds of thousands of views in Hawaii and elsewhere.

His message about alleged cover-ups and corruption within the Honolulu Police Department seemed to resonate with readers. Here’s a sampling:

Santiago’s comments smashed through the “Blue Wall of Silence,” a unwritten code among those in law enforcement that you don’t rat out your fellow officers.

Breaking that code can alienate outspoken officers from their peers, even if what they’re reporting is egregious and criminal.

Santiago said he knew this was a risk, but decided to take it anyway.

“Right here and today, this is it for my career,” he said. There’s people in the police department who are going to hate me for this. But I’m tired of it. I’m sick of it.”

But who is Denny Santiago? And what was he complaining about?

Santiago is a corporal who used to work in the traffic division. He got his start with HPD in 1996 and is now assigned to District 7, which covers East Honolulu from Manoa Valley and Moiliili to Hawaii Kai and the Kalama Valley.

He’s a decorated officer, who has received some of HPD’s highest honors.

In 2004, Santiago was awarded a certificate of merit for his part in responding to a vehicle collision on Farrington Highway that took the life of a police officer and a 10-year-old girl.

Santiago and others were recognized at the time for their efforts in pulling victims from burning brush that had ignited after the accident.

He was honored again for his heroism in 2011 after he shot a gunman who had been firing a weapon in the Ala Moana area during a fight. Santiago received a Warrior Silver Medal of Valor, the department’s second-highest award.

Santiago told the commissioners that he was worried about the ongoing search for a new police chief for the department, especially as the U.S. Justice Department continues its probe into alleged corruption and abuse of power.

For the full story visit: http://www.civilbeat.org/2017/09/how-a-police-officers-complaints-about-hpd-corruption-went-viral/

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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