Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cellphone Video Shows Police Beating of Unarmed Student

A cellphone video, obtained and posted by the San Jose Mercury News late Saturday shows police officers repeatedly hitting an unarmed university student with batons and a Taser gun. The video has prompted a criminal investigation into the officers' conduct.

The video was taken during the incident by one of the student's roommates, Dimitri Masouris, without the knowledge of the police. The student, Phuong Ho, a 20-year-old math major, faces pending misdemeanor charges of exhibiting a deadly weapon and resisting arrest. While Ho admits picking up a knife as he argued with a roommate that evening, he was not armed when police arrived. The San Jose Mercury-News obtained the video last week from Ho's lawyers.

The video, though shaky and grainy as the San Jose Mercury-News admits, shows one officer hitting the 20-year-old student with a metal baton more than 10 times, including once while he is already handcuffed. Another officer apparently uses his Taser on Ho.

The San Jose Mercury-News showed the video to Daniel Katz, San Jose's assistant police chief. The police department is taking the matter very seriously, he said. The paper showed the video to other analysts as well.

Regarding the baton strike after Ho is handcuffed, Roger Clark, a certified policing expert and a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, where he served for 27 years, said "That's a felony."

Frank Jordan, former San Francisco police chief as well as former mayor said, "Once he is handcuffed, then he is helpless. If you can show that his hands are behind his back, and he is handcuffed, that is where you get brutality. That would be excessive force."

After the incident, the police report said, Ho was treated for a Taser burn as well as receiving staples to close several wounds, including a blow to his head.
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Monica Alex said...

Your post showing real truth.
Thanks for post.

memory stick said...

Police should not treat student like animal. I am wondering these policeman has pets at home.