There is a criminal investigation under way in San Jose, California where a cell phone video shows 4 police officers repeatedly hitting and using a stun gun on Phuong Ho, a college student who was unarmed. Read more below and watch the cell phone video.




Phuong Ho Taser Wound





Phuong Ho, age 20, is a Vietnamese math student at San Jose State University. On September 3, he reportedly threatened a roommate with a steak knife. Police were called and when they came to arrest Ho, they say he became “combative and noncompliant” though he was no longer armed. And then the cell phone video showed up. The California officers now on leave after student beating are Kenneth Siegel, Steven Payne Jr., Jerome Smith and Gabriel Reyes.

The cell phone video was recorded by Ho’s roommate, and given to a local newspaper. The video of the student beating seems to show Officer Siegel hitting Ho repeatedly with a baton and Officer Steven Payne Jr. using a stun gun on him as they took him into custody.

Police reports say that Officer Siegel used his baton and Officer Payne his Taser as Ho kicked and refused orders by police. However, the video also appears to show at least one baton strike after Phuong Ho is handcuffed. Ho is heard crying and moaning in the background. Some are now arguing that was not substantial resistance. Phuong Ho is facing charges of exhibiting a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. He was treated at the local hospital for injuries and released.

Was force even needed? If it was, was an appropriate amount used? Now you see why there is an investigation.

As you can imagine, several of the attorneys for the officers are beginning to speak out. Officer Siegel’s attorney says the cell phone video leaves out details that would show why the officers acted as they did. Officer Payne’s attorney says Ho resisted arrest. You can go here to listen to Phuong Ho’s side of the story.

This latest incident with San Jose, California officers on leave after a student beating only increases existing tensions between San Jose’s large Vietnamese-American community and the SJPD. In May of 2009, the police shot and killed a Vietnamese man, Daniel Pham, who was apparently mentally ill. And in 2003 SJPD fatally shot a mentally disturbed Vietnamese woman. You can watch the cell phone video of Phuong Ho’s beating below and decide for yourself.