After Shooting, Police Chief Meets with Polynesian Community
Better relationship with law enforcement discussed
ANCHORAGE - Anchorage Police Chief Mark Mew sat down with members of the Polynesian community on Friday to talk about the procedures that led an officer to fatally shoot a Samoan man armed with a stick.
An investigation found the shooting was justified but some are still wondering whether police were too quick to pull the trigger.
Nearly everyone relaxing at Lion’s Park in Mountain View on Friday afternoon was familiar with the case but there were differing opinions on whether police did the right thing.
“I think that was little extreme. I mean he had a stick,” said one woman. “They could have done something else to handle that situation instead of shooting him and ending his life.”
“I feel if [police] feel they are being threatened that they have a right to shoot if necessary,” said another woman.
“I think we need resources,” said one man. “Some more tasers and bean bag guns. They’ll pretty much knock anybody down from what I understand.”
Members of the Polynesian Community met with police for two and a half hours on Friday to ask if there were alternatives to using fatal force as a first resort. Police told them that in many cases, there is not.
“That's always a touchy subject,” says community representative Mao Tosi who was at the meeting. “I believe [police] stand where they stand and the community is trying to understand that stance.”
The meeting was closed to the press and public but those in attendance say the mood was positive.
“We are really just looking at all the solutions out there and trying to figure out which ones are more realistic and just making sure that everyone is on the same page,” said Tosi.
Meantime, a rally that is scheduled for noon on Saturday at the Softball Field Complex off of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. will go on as planned. The rally was organized by members of the Polynesian Community who say the focus will be peaceful. Church groups and several speakers are expected. Members of APD and representatives from the Mayor’s office plan to be there too.