Investigation Tracks Accountability for Police Misconduct in Hawaii

In an ongoing investigative series based on arbitration files from the past 25 years – records that have only recently become public due to a change in state law – grantee Nick Grube of Hawaii Civil Beat analyzes and reports on the role the collective bargaining process and grievance procedures play in efforts to improve police practices in Hawaii. Civil Beat’s analysis of 58 arbitration decisions over the past 25 years found that in nearly 65% of disciplinary cases that went before an arbitrator, punishment was either reduced or overturned. In cases involving termination, the reversal rate is even higher, with three out of four officers eventually being rehired through arbitration. At the root of this, the investigation determined that there are numerous variables that make it difficult to remove an officer, including examples of past leniency, flawed internal affairs investigations and a collective bargaining agreement that contains special protections for officers accused of misconduct. Investigation Tracks Accountability for Police Misconduct in Hawaii – The Fund for Investigative Journalism