Hawaii police officers who allegedly forced man to lick urinal charged with civil rights violations

Two Honolulu Police Department officers were arrested and charged Friday for allegedly forcing a homeless man to lick a public urinal, according to authorities.

The Department of Justice charged John Rabago, 43, and Reginald Ramones, 43, with one count of conspiring to deprive a person of his civil rights, and one count of acting under color of law to deprive the same person's rights.

ADVERTISEMENT

The charges stem from an incident in January 2018 where the officers allegedly “deprived an individual of his constitutional right to be free from an unreasonable seizure by a law enforcement officer.”

The indictment carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine, according to authorities.

Honolulu Police Chief Susan Ballard told WKYT that the arrests “cast a dark shadow on the department.”

“I ask that the public please continue to support the officers who carry out their daily assignments with courage, integrity and respect for the public,” Ballard said in a statement. “The two officers who were arrested will have their day in court and be held accountable for their actions."

According to the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the two officers were responding to a trespassing call when they encountered a homeless man and forced him to put his mouth on a urinal. Two other officers were reportedly involved.

Megan Kau, an attorney representing Rabago, told WKYT that she was confident her client would not be found guilty.

"We are confident that once they are acquitted they'll go back to D1 (district 1) patrol as they were before," she said.