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VOICES: ‘Let us have forgiveness’

A Petition to the Police Commission on Kaua‘i has begun to stop the rush to judgment of our Police Chief Todd Raybuck. Pono Market in Kapa’a already has more than two dozen signatures including people of a wide variety of backgrounds, typical of our island: Japanese, Filipino, Hawaiian, Portuguese, Caucasian. More to come. We residents of Kaua‘i respectfully request that no discipline or action of any kind, including removal as Police Chief, be taken against Police Chief Todd Raybuck. In a YouTube video today, he apologized for harmful words.

From the time of his arrival on Kaua‘i to the present time, Chief Raybuck has impressed us with his interest in the Kaua‘i community. He is the only chief that we ever had to come out into our communities and asked us how we are doing and what can the department do for the communities. He has enthusiastically engaged in all aspects of our community, including food distribution during the pandemic, always done with a smile. When native Hawaiians wanted to march to protest the TMT project, he worked with the leaders and our mayor then the police escorted them down Rice Street.

The Chief understood the passions and showed them respect. He has also done this on other occasions. The result was no confrontations, no violence, no arrests. This is good community policing. As an out-of-state hire, he enthusiastically learns about our community and has encouraged his children to learn about local cultures, including Hawaiian. Dismissal of him does not speak well of Kaua‘i culture.

Removal for a vague claim of “racism” is very unfair without a full hearing, in public. A newspaper article is not evidence. A spurious recording is not evidence. His future career could be unfairly harmed so it must not be done lightly. The overwhelming evidence is that the Chief has a strong interest in the entire community which is shown by his attendance at different cultural events, serving in food distributions to those suffering from Covid restrictions, and participating with his family in many island cultural activities.

Even if the Chief made some inappropriate comment(s), Mayor Derek Kawakami said it best: “Let us have forgiveness.” We agree.

Please be fair to Chief Raybuck. Visit Pono Market in Kapaa to sign the Petition.

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William and Judith Fernandez are residents of Kapa‘a
Source: The Garden Island

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