Cell Phone Video Shows Police Beating Of Student
By Associated Press October 25, 2009
A cell phone video that shows police officers repeatedly hitting an unarmed university student with batons and a Taser gun has prompted a criminal investigation into the officers’ conduct, a San Jose police spokesman said.
The video, posted by the San Jose Mercury News on its Web site late Saturday, shows one officer hitting 20-year-old Vietnamese student Phuong Ho with a metal baton more than 10 times, including once on the head. Another officer is seen using his Taser gun on the San Jose State math major.
The final baton strike in last month’s incident appears to take place after handcuffs have been attached to Ho’s wrists.
“It takes me back to the day I saw the Rodney King video on TV,” said Roger Clark, a police expert and a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department.
The last baton strike ought to bring a felony charge, Clark said.
Officers arrested Ho on suspicion of assaulting one of his roommates. He was not armed when police arrived and he told the newspaper he didn’t resist arrest.
The confrontation began Sept. 3 when Ho’s roommate, Jeremy Suftin, put soap on Ho’s steak. The two scuffled, and Ho picked up a steak knife, saying that in his home country he would have killed Suftin for doing what he did.
Police were called, and four officers responded.
Officer Kenneth Siegel encountered Ho in the hallway, but couldn’t understand the student’s accent, police reports said. Ho then ignored a police command to stand still, reports said. Read more.