Maui Police Department officer Brandon Saffeels is under investigation following a Hawaii News Now report that the cop abused his power. Texts and phone calls uncovered by reporter Lynn Kawano show that Saffeels contacted a woman just hours after arresting her for drunk driving. The communications, in which the officer offers to throw his testimony in the woman’s favor and repeatedly invites her to his house, were later verified by the Maui Police Department.
“[T]he Criminal Investigations Division was able to obtain text messages and voice recordings that support the allegations made against one of its officers,” MPD stated Tuesday. Saffeels, who has been with MPD for four years, is currently being investigated for attempted perjury, hindering prosecution in the first degree, and tampering with a witness.
The unidentified woman told HNN that she fears retaliation. MPD, however, is asking that she come forward and contact the department. “If you have a complaint against an officer we encourage you to contact that officer’s supervisor or you can also contact our Internal Affairs Division,” said police chief Tivoli Faaumu. “If you are uncomfortable with speaking to us you can also file a complaint with the Maui Police Commission.”
MPD declined to comment on Saffeels’ employment status. “Right now I have to stand with what was released, said public information officer John Sang. “When and if we can release any further information we will.”