Thursday, February 16, 2012


DEALING WITH IT: Yesterday's shooting of Richard Ernest "Dickie" Louis was a classic "suicide-by-cop" according to sources close to Kaua`i Police Department (KPD).

Although most are tight-lipped as to the details of exactly how Louis was shot and killed, it wasn't hard to predict. Many say Louis had been making "they won't take me alive" types of statements for a year or more and yesterday that's the apparently way it played out.

Louis was convicted in early December almost four and a half years after an arrest for illegally cutting Koa in Koke`e which led to the discovery of "two rifles, ammunition and a shaving kit containing 23 grams of crystal methamphetamine, marijuana, paraphernalia and $3,541 in cash."

But though some of his family and friends are surely grieving for Louis whose slow downhill fall can be traced, sources say, by the evolution of his mug shots over the four and a half years, the biggest tradgedy is that for the officer or officers who went to work yesterday to do their job, went home last night with a weight on their psyches that will most likely haunt them the rest of their lives.

Oh sure there'll be counseling, although we understand that a counselor will have to be brought in from Honolulu because Kaua`i is thankfully small enough for "suicide by cop" to be a rarity.

We often get so busy with criticism of the few bad actors on the force- those who abuse their power jacking up sovereignty activists and native American Church members, the ones who can't seem to stop harassing female officers and department civilian employees and others still who can't seem to maintain the professionalism that asks them to walk a sometimes impossibly thin line between appropriate and inappropriate use of force- we can forget that the vast majority of sworn officers on Kaua`i are conscientious, just-plain working-class folks whose lives can suddenly be turned upside down through circumstances like those presented yesterday where they are forced to take a life in protecting us all.

Louis might have been one or the "bad guys" or could have been a good guy who fell under some bad influences, made some really bad choices, got involved with drugs... and, some say, didn't have the courage to "do the job" himself.

But there's a high likelihood that those who were forced to take his life were doing a job that we thank our stars for every time we are threatened, assaulted or robbed, when someone wraps their car around a telephone poll, when a tourist simply can't find their way to "lye-heh-you-eeee" or when we otherwise find ourselves in need of protection or service.

We know it will be a long hard road to emotional recovery for the officers at the scene yesterday. It always is. They are men and women, not rocks. And we know it's hard for many of them to read some of the things that others in the department do that reflects poorly on them.

That's going to happen again- we can't prevent it and if we didn't write about it we wouldn't be doing our job.

But there is one thing we can do. And that's to sometimes just say "thanks guys and gals" for being there when we need you.


Due to circumstances beyond our- or theirs- control, we find ourselves, for the second time in a year, in need of someone who can do another impossible job- act as editor for our daily scribblings.

If you have any experience with wordsmithing- and dealing with a scribe who think every word is divinely influenced (not really but you may feel that way at times)- and can spare a short spell around noon on weekdays let us know at gotwindmills(at)

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