New body cam footage shows police fatally shooting a black South African man while responding to a burglary call at a home.
Lindani Myeni, 29 — a father of two whose wife says he is a Zulu “prince” and once appeared on “South African Idol” — had frightened the occupants of the home in Honolulu when he entered, sat down and took off his shoes on Wednesday, Chief Susan Ballard said.
Police released two brief clips Friday from the shooting in the Nuuanu neighborhood.
In one of the clips, a woman outside could be heard telling an officer, “That’s him.”
Myeni was then seen getting out of a car and walking toward the officer as he’s repeatedly ordered to “get on the ground.”
But instead, police said Myeni turned around and charged at one of the officers before punching him several times, ABC News reported.
In the video, gunfire rings out and there’s a brief pause before an officer said, “police.”
Acting Deputy Chief Allan Nagata acknowledged that cops didn’t identify themselves before the fatal encounter Wednesday, but he said it was clear that they were law enforcement.
“Hey, let’s be honest, they’re in uniform. … They’re coming there with the police cars and they told him get on the ground, comply,” Nagata said.
He claimed that Myeni had attacked the officers until one of them lost consciousness.
Nagata said that one of the officers had deployed a stun gun, which didn’t appear to have an effect on the suspect, before the shooting.
“They didn’t shoot or discharge the firearm right away,” he said. “This was not a case of overreaction.”
Lindani Myeni, his American-born wife, said she believes his actions leading up to the shooting were misunderstood.
“In Zulu culture you can go to anyone’s house,” she told Hawaii News Now, adding that he has the rank of “prince” in his homeland and appeared on the local “Idol” version.
“You can knock on anyone’s door. It doesn’t matter if it’s 8 o’clock it’s not a big deal. Neighbor are neighbors.”
She said she doesn’t believe her husband had any intention of burglarizing the home.
“I don’t know why he stopped at those people’s house. Obviously he wouldn’t burglarize,” she said.
“We have money. We have everything we need. We’re not looking for anything. He wanted to talk to them for some reason. It says he took off his shoes. I’m sure he did that as a sign of respect.”
Local media in South Africa described Myeni as a former rugby player.
Lindani said she believed that race played a role in the fatal shooting.
“There’s no reason this should have happened. I’m white and I guarantee he would not have been shot had he been white. This is ridiculous,” she told news station KITV.
She said she met her husband in his home country when she was on a Christian mission.
“He’s the most gentle person … and the best father,” she told Hawaii News Now.
“We’ve got two babies under 2. I’ve got to go to sleep every night without him.”
With Post Wires