Six police cars swoop in on Honolulu Mayoral candidate Choon James, Monday April 27, 2020, as she attempts to video the destruction of Monkeypod trees being cut down during repaving of the Ala Moana/Magic Island parking lot. Police did not acknowledge James’ rights as an Olelo investigative reporter. Media personnel are recognized in Gov Ige’s emergency declarations (pg 7) as ‘essential workers’.
James was cited by police for her action and will have to appear in court in June.
According to James, she spoke to the parks manager and was never told she could not videotape the park. (VIDEO: Choon James speaks to park manager prior to arrival of police.)
The park has been closed because of the coronavirus, giving Mayor Caldwell an opportunity chop down the trees—all apparently healthy-- without facing protest. According to James, 12 trees have come down and at least another 16 trees are in line for sacrifice.
News Release: 04/09/20 ‘Āina Moana parking lot reconstruction beginning next week
KHON: Magic Island parking lot to undergo extensive reconstruction
CB: Repaving Of Magic Island Parking Lot
SA: Shocked by removal of Ala Moana Park trees
SA: Uprooted trees at park renewal has angered groups