HPD officer's testimony at marriage equality hearing puts his integrity into questionUPDATED 6:28 AM HST Nov 06, 2013Video Transcript
The integrity of an HPD officer is being called into question after his testimony yesterday. SHOPO president Tenari Ma'afala still stands behind what he said. KITV-4's Brenton Awa joins us now to tell us why. Brenton? Paula -- yesterday Ma'afala said if this bill passed -- and he was retired -- he'd be a lawbreaker. But that doesn't mean he'd be committing hate crimes. Instead -- he said the only rule he would break is not allowing his children to go to school on any certain day where they might have to learn sex education. 158 - 207 "YOU WOULD HAVE TO KILL ME BEFORE I... ...UPON MY CHILDREN. SHOPO President Tenari Ma'afala's made it crystal clear where he stands on same-sex marriage... But he also made it clear that he would abide by any law as long as he's wearing a badge.. 152 - 158 "THE DAY I RETIRE... ...NEVER HONOR SUCH LAW." SOT MAAFALA TODAY Still -- the comment struck a nerve with supporters of this bill -- including a gay HPD officer. In a letter obtained by our partners at civil beat -- officer John Zuezheim writes... "I AM BEYOND WORDS WITH HOW SHOCKED, APPALLED AND HORRIFIED I AM THAT ANY OFFICER ... ...WOULD IDENTIFY HIMSELF AS SUCH." The letter addressed to Chief Kealoha and Ma'afala goes on to say... "MA'AFALA HAS SINGLE HANDEDLY DESTROYED ANY TRUST NOT ONLY FROM THIS COMMUNITY DIRECTLY BUT ALSO THE FRIENDS AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF THIS COMMUNITY." Meanwhile -- some supporters of this bill are proud that the SHOPO president stood up for his beliefs. 435 "HE TESTIFIED EXACTLY WHAT HE NEEDED TO SAY TO THE PUBLIC. WE DON'T WANT OUR CHILDREN TO BE CONFUSED IN THIS MATTER." Others say they won't let these remarks reflect their opinions of all HPD officers. 112 - 125 "IT JUST TELLS ME THAT THERE'S A LOT OF EDUCATION THAT I EXPECT CHIEF KEALOHA TO DO WITH HIM AS WELL AS HOPEFULLY THE MAYOR WILL STEP IN TO MAKE SURE THIS GENTLEMAN GETS THE DIVERSITY TRAINING HE SO DESPERATELY NEEDS." SOT MAAFALA TODAY "...I would enforce every and all laws." HPD says it does not have a position on same sex marriage, nor does the department consider this a law enforcement issue. It also says like other citizens -- its employees are free to express their personal opinions as private individuals. Tell us what YOU think about Maafala's comments... Just give us a LIKE on Facebook and comment when the story appears in your news feed.