Maui Residents Accuse Police of Lying to Media

( – Locals on the island of Maui are accusing their police chief of lying about his department’s efforts to inform residents of the incoming fires and aid in their evacuation. Dale Hermo-Fernandez, a local whose face has been on the news since the dust settled, called Chief John Pelletier’s assertion that his PD used loudspeakers and sirens to alert locals a “total lie.”

Hermo-Fernandez has been critical of the local, regional, and national responses to the disaster from the beginning. His face first popped up on the news when outlets found out he was organizing supply and gas deliveries to those in need largely on his own.

Fernandez’s accusations against Pelletier are not the first time the law enforcement official’s name has been associated with dishonesty. Not long after the Lahaina fires burned out, social media lit up with content about Pelletier’s professional history.

In 2017, he served as the Las Vegas Chief of Police and led the city’s response to what became the largest mass shooting in American history. Following the events, he was accused of multiple oversights, including dishonesty, orchestrating a coverup, and general incompetence.

Chief Pelletier’s August 22nd assertion that his officers went up and down streets blasting warnings on loudspeakers and knocking on doors did not come with any bodycam footage, nor did he say exactly where or when it all took place.

Conflicting statements of responsibility have come from any number of area agencies and departments. Hawaii Electric has been accused of negligently failing to turn off power to transmission lines. Water oversight officials have been accused of stupidity and incompetence.

Hermo-Fernandez seems to think that police may have been unintentionally responsible for a large number of deaths. The local said that it appears the PD “inadvertently worsened” what unfolded by creating evacuation “bottlenecks.”

According to multiple reports, officials have erected barricades and forbidden drone flights to block visual access to ground zero.

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