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Greenwell heading to jury trial over traffic arrest

Karin Stanton | Hawaii 24/7 Contributing Editor

Kona Councilman Kelly Greenwell pleaded not guilty Thursday afternoon in District Court to three charges stemming from a traffic stop last month.

Greenwell appeared before Judge Joseph Florendo on charges he resisted an order to stop a motor vehicle, refused to provide identification and resisted arrest on July 17.

Police reported they clocked him at 51 mph in a 35 mph zone in Kona, which carries a $137 fine.

Greenwell previously said he would pay the fine, although he does not believe he was driving that fast.

However, he refuses to accept guilt on the three charges and said he would consider suing the county if found guilty at trial and campaign for more and better training for Big Island police officers.

“I will not change my plea,” he said, although he would consider a plea deal in exchange for additional departmental “lessons in how to be a better police officer.”

Greenwell maintains he was pushed and threatened by the arresting officer and believes officers can be trained to better handle confrontational situations and control their own aggressive attitudes.

“It’s my responsibility as a council person to make sure there is a better protocol. You don’t need to intimidate everyone you stop,” he said.

“There needs to be more adherence to the code of ethics,” Greenwell said.

Florendo set the trial for Aug. 25 in Circuit Court.

The Law Enforcement Code of Ethics

AS A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, my fundamental duty is to serve mankind; to safeguard lives and property; to protect the innocent against deception, the weak against oppression or intimidation, and the peaceful against violence or disorder; and to respect the Constitutional rights of all men to liberty, equality and justice.

I WILL keep my private life unsullied as an example to all; maintain courageous calm in the face of danger, scorn, or ridicule; develop self-restraint; and be constantly mindful of the welfare of others. Honest in thought and deed in both my personal and official life, I will be exemplary in obeying the laws of the land and the regulations of my department. Whatever I see or hear of a confidential nature or that is confided to me in my official capacity will be kept ever secret unless revelation is necessary in the performance of my duty.

I WILL never act officiously or permit personal feelings, prejudices, animosities or friendships to influence my decisions. With no compromise for crime and with relentless prosecution of criminals, I will enforce the law courteously and appropriately without fear or favor, malice or ill will, never employing unnecessary force or violence and never accepting gratuities.

I RECOGNIZE the badge of my office as a symbol of public faith, and I accept it as a public trust to be held so long as I am true to the ethics of the police service. I will constantly strive to achieve these objectives and ideals, dedicating myself to my chosen profession . . . law enforcement.

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7 Responses to “Greenwell heading to jury trial over traffic arrest”

  1. T.Wright says:

    I can not believe that (Councilman) Kelly Greenwell has asked for a jury trial instead of paying the $130-$140 speeding fine. Instead he wants to waste more money on a jury trial that the tax payers will have to spring for. Greenwell also said he will take a plea agreement (IF) the police department gives lessons to the police officers to become better police officers. I thought that was one of the reasons why the police department has a internal affairs office, to make sure that the officers are doing the right things and not the opposit. Kelly Greenwell is using the jury trial as a way to get off and by having a jury trial he knows that the jury will more then likely go with Greenwell for the fact that the jury may have prejudice against the police department for personal reasons like getting a speeding

  2. T.Wright says:

    ticket themselves.
    Greenwell should just pay his fine, write a apology letter to the arresting officer and to the police department for calling the officer a "Nazi" and also for accusing the police department for not being professional. Greenwell is going to cost tax payers money for going to trial when he could always come up with a suggestion to be voted on by county council on the way the police department should conduct more training on how to react with the public. I am sorry, he even said that he was speeding but doesn't know if this or that happened, maybe it did, maybe it didn't but its all everyone elses fault but my own.
    Way to go Greenwell. Not knowing worked for Reagan with the Iran/Contra deal so it should work here, Greenwell with the Speeding ticket/Police are bad but I will take a plea deal if the police have sensativity training. Go Greenwell and hopefully justice will prevail and the police can keep doing the job that they were hired to do. All I see is smear attacks against the police department which is totally uncalled for!!!!!

  3. Big Guy says:

    Even though Kelly's "do you know who I am" smacks of entitlement (does it come from being a Greenwell or being a council person) I totally agree with Kelly that the police are overbearing and need to have sensitivity training. I was told years ago (by C.H.P in Calif.) at a class(for speeders) that it is best when stopped to get out of your car and stand by the rear of the passenger side so officer can see you do not have weapons. Obviously young policemen do not subscribe to that theory. In these days of Cage fighting (the officer involved trains at BJ Penn studio) and tattoos (for ladies even) and multiple wars going on our young people are getting more and more violent (wrestling with a 70 year old man ?) Surely this chap is deserving of anger management classes and a lesson in just how to deal with public. The policeman always is right until you are proven guilty ? Lighten up police !!! Treat others as you have them treat you. You certainly could have let Kelly spout off without you going off !!

  4. publicopinion says:

    Public should be intimidated by police. Police officers should be respected and citizens should teach their children to respect people in uniform. Any other non-conceited person I hope should follow an officers requests or demands. Why should a police officer be back talked, defied, or disobeyed? Too many Kona residents are arrogant and expect special treatment. Police officers enforce the law, secure unsafe scenes, conduct investigations amidst chaotic scenes of traffic accidents and other unfortunate situations. They assist victims, refer people in need, contact other agencies to coordinate overall safer conditions for the public. They serve the public. NOT BOW DOWN TO THEM. Greenwell is at his own will to make himself look rediculous. Get over yourself Greenwell. You were speeding, had assinine behavior, and tried to wiggle your way out like a worm. Much respect to the officer who treated this situation as an escalating situation.

  5. publicopinion says:

    Verbal Judo obviously didn't work, dump his a**! Old man or not, Greenwell or not. There's no royalty here. Better trained officers?? C'mon. Would you remain calm at a scene of an accident with multiple injuries and coordinate clean-up and removal of vehicles, while securing the scene and finding out what happened all at the same time?? Most people can't even give their correct location in time of crisis or just yell at 9-1-1 to send help. Answer the questions and follow requests by uniformed responders. They've been trained to handle situations most people don't even encounter in their lifetimes. Furthermore; more respect to the officer for keeping in shape on his own time and taking initiative to be even higher trained or refining his take down skills.

  6. T.Wright says:

    Well, I like how Greenwell first gets a ticket and now has a new resolution for the 17th August 2010 council meeting to vote on about the use of unmarked police vehicles. I would not have mind it to much if this was on the calander before his speeding ticket but now that he gets busted for speeding he is fighting back to have unmarked police vehicles removed. Hell, he might as well get rid of those helecopters being used for green harvest also, they do not have any police markings on them and much less a blue light on top. I guess the next thing Greenwell will ask is that the officers get rid of their weapons, hand-cuffs, radios and ect…

  7. T.Wright says:

    Greenwell should also ask that the police get rid of uniforms and start looking like Mr.Rodgers with a belt buckle badge. This will make the police less intimidating. Greenwell should also want openess in the county council as he now wants openess in the police department. I would have more respect for Greenwell if this new resoultion about unmarked cars was before his speeding ticket but instead he is wasting the tax payers money for a jury trial when the money could be used somewhere else. I hope the council members remember that this is a election year and think twice about on how to vote for this crazy and lame excuse resolution over a speeding ticket. Greenwell Speeding ticket $137, Greenwell and a Jury trial $1000 plus from the tax payers.


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