Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Thursday, August 14:  The Judge in the trial of Christopher Deedy acquitted Deedy of murdering Kollin Elderts and declared a hung jury with regard to the remaining charges of manslaughter and assault.   On August 29th she is to report on the status of the case and whether there will be a re-trial, or whether it will be dismissed.

Friday, August 15th:  About 100 people responded to a call made by the Coalition for Justice for Kollin Elderts and gathered in front of the Honolulu Zoo for a rally and a march through Waikiki. 

Before the march, statements by organizers called on people to continue to fight for justice for Kollin Elderts, and against racism everywhere.  The murder of Kollin Elderts was linked to the epidemic of police brutality across the U.S., and especially to the recent murders of Eric Garner in New York and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.  

Carrying signs reading "Justice for Kollin Elderts:  Victim of Racism," along with placards with the pictures of Elderts, Garner and Brown, the crowd took off along Kalakaua Avenue chanting:  "Justice! Justice! Justice for Kollin Elderts" and "Ku`e" as an agitator linked the murder of Kollin Elderts with the murders of Eric Garner and Michael Brown and called on people along the route to join the march. Many tourists were stunned that in Hawai`i - a place praised for racial harmony - they would be faced with demonstrators protesting murder by law enforcement and a racist system.  

About 60 people gradually swelled to almost 100 as local people, a Black family, a homeless man, and others joined in.   A street performer along the route shared his own story about Kollin:  how Kollin had always stopped to put money in his hat and had complimented him on his performance.   A Kailua man who knew Kollin from his high school days recalled Kollin fondly saying:  "That agent gotta pay for murder."   A man from St. Louis, and with family in Ferguson, said he was calling home each day to hear more about the demonstrators there, but never expected to see Michael Brown's picture at a protest in Hawai`i. 

As the march neared the Kuhio McDonald's where Kollin was murdered, Jon Osorio picked up the bullhorn and began singing "Hawai`i Aloha" as many in the crowd joined in and then stopped in front of McDonald's for a quieter time to remember Kollin's life.  

Then the march took off again, returning to Kalakaua Avenue for a noisy return to the park. 

The rally and march were both covered by local and national media and reports were carried on the evening news as well as the Star-Advertiser.   Following are some photos:

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(photo by Ed Greevy)

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(photo by Ed Greevy)

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(photo by Ed Greevy)

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