The Honolulu Police Department in the US state of Hawaii has released the 911 tape that initiated a sequence of events that resulted in police shooting dead former South African rugby player Lindani Myeni on April 14.
A distraught woman, speaking in broken English, is heard on the phone sounding at times terrified as the dispatcher seeks to understand what is going on in the home.
The Myeni family attorney Jim Bickerton told SABC News that the tapes were released after they issued a notice to depose the caller when they had managed to independently identify her. This is how the call began.
Dispatcher: Police Emergency, hello what’s your address.
Caller: Hello, Will you please leave.
D: What’s your address
C: It’s 91 Coelho Way
D: What’s your name.
C: (blanked out)
C: Someone entered my house.
D: Do you know who they are?
C: He said he??… He’s South Africa.
D: Do you know who is personally, do you know this man?
C: I don’t know this man.
D: What’s he wearing?
C: He’s in the house.
D: What is he wearing, what colour are his clothes?
C: It’s a black T-shirt.
D: What is he Asian, White, Black? Hello, what kind of ethnicity is he? Officers are on the way, can you tell me what he looks like.
C: I don’t know if he knows our owner or not but he just like…come here and say some strange words.
D: OK, he is White, is he Black? Is he local?
C: I don’t know him.
D: I understand you don’t know what he looks like, so if he runs away officers can find him. So what does he look like, is he White, is he Black…is he Asian?
C: He’s Black.
The dispatcher then tries to keep the caller calm as she seeks to establish additional information, asking if Myeni was armed with a gun, knife, bat or stick.
The response in audio is difficult to decipher, the caller is heard saying that Myeni said something but she doesn’t know what it means.
This is how the call continued until the police arrived and Myeni was shot.
D: M’am can you go outside and meet the officers please.
C: I don’t know why.
D: It’s ok, can you go outside and look at the policeman?
C: He tried to go outside, I don’t know.
D: Ok, so he’s outside now.
C: No he’s inside, but he’s close to the front door.
D: OK, so you can’t get outside, ok I understand. Officers are coming ok. They are going to be there soon.
C: He’s outside. (Crying). I think he’s …
D: He’s following you….you think?
C: Yeah, he’s driving a car to come to the neighborhood. I’m so afraid to go outside?
D: It’s ok, you don’t have to go outside if you don’t feel safe doing it.
D: Do you remember what kind of car he had?
C: He’s still in the community. I think the police officer can stop him?
D: OK, officers are….
D: Ok.. They’re on the way.
D: Do you remember what the car looks like?
C: That’s him, that’s him….(Talking to Police officer)
C: That’s him, that’s him…
P: Get on the ground…
C: Screaming… (he’s attacking the cops) ..screaming
D: Shots fired. Burglary.
Here is the full audio recording of 911 call preceding police shooting of Lindani Myeni in Honolulu Myeni family attorney tell #sabcnews it was released after they issued notice to depose caller whose identity they discovered.#SoundCloud #np https://t.co/vDs1baoHfC
— Sherwin Bryce-Pease (@sherwiebp) May 1, 2021
Myeni’s remains will arrive in the country on Saturday morning.
Government has been facilitating the repatriation of his body, which started in Hawaii in the US on Wednesday.
The KwaZulu-Natal government says it will support the family of 29-year-old Myeni when his remains arrive at the OR Tambo International Airport.
Premier Sihle Zikalala has called on US President Joe Biden to intervene and ask questions about the incident.
Myeni’s family members have thanked the South African government for its support in ensuring that the remains of their loved one are repatriated boy to South Africa.