A federal judge sentenced a Hawaii police officer to 30 – 38 months in prison on Friday after he was recorded brutalizing patrons of a Honolulu arcade on Sept. 5, 2014.
The video emerged last October from inside a game room near Ala Moana, Honolulu showing unprovoked officer Vincent Morre assaulting two men.
The footage clearly shows Morre walking into the arcade before kicking a 25-year old man in the face.
Morre and other officers then walk to the back of the game room as they search for someone who is not there. As the officers realize the man they want is absent, they begin to leave.
On the way out Morre slaps, punches, and kicks a man seated next to the man he kicked on his way in. He then turns his attention to the latter and kicks him again in the head sending him flying out of his chair onto the floor.
As the man stands up and begins to sit back down, Morre then picks up a stool and throws it hitting him in the head again and appears to brutalize another patron on his way out the door.
The 25-year-old man who was kicked int he face was hospitalized for his injuries. He suffered a broken bone in his hand and multiple contusions to the head and face that required staples.
Watch the raw footage:
“That’s totally unacceptable,” Honolulu Police Chief Louis Kealoha said at the time. “Unauthorized use of force, excessive use of force and then you have two officers who just, apparently, stood by.”
Morre was put on unpaid leave and the FBI launched an investigation into the incident, but after only two months, he returned to duty despite the indicting surveillance footage recovered at the scene.
Civil service rules allow an employee to return to work and collect a pay check again after 30 days. There is one exception, if the administration extends that leave. HPD did do that in this case, extending the status to 60 days, but that is the maximum, so the department had no choice but to allow Morre to return.
He remained on desk duty and had his police powers removed until he pleaded guilty to two counts of depriving the two men’s right to be free from the use of unreasonable force by a law enforcement officer on May 19, 2015, and resigned.
Moore was sentenced to three years in prison by District Judge J. Michael Seabright on Friday.
U.S. Attorney Florence T. Nakakuni said, “th[e] case represents important steps in vindicating the civil rights of the victims of unreasonable use of force by a law enforcement officer.”