Protesters Demand Justice for Police Beating a Vietnamese Immigrant

By Leticia Miranda Oct 28, 2009

Last night, around 70 Vietnamese and civil rights advocates gathered in front of San Jose City Hall demanding justice for last week’s police beating of Phuong Ho, a Vietnamese immigrant studying Math at San Jose State University. The San Jose Mercury news reported the beating last week and featured a cell phone video on their site that shows Ho protecting his body and face from repeated blows with a metal baton by officers Kenneth Siegel and Steven Payne Jr. The two officers were called to Ho’s apartment after he and his roommate got into a scuffle when his roommate put soap on his steak. When the officers arrived, Siegel approached Ho in the hallway, but couldn’t understand his accent, according to police reports. When Ho didn’t stand still after the officers told him to do so, they pushed him to the floor. Ho’s glasses slid on the ground and as he reached to get them, the officers quickly handcuffed him and beat him with the baton. The protesters last night held signs calling for a hearing by the grand jury. They also want the city to share all records they have about the incident like the 911 dispatch report and they called a separate investigation by the district attorney apart from the SJPD internal investigation.

"We don’t want this type of situation to happen again," said Paul Le, vice president of the Vietnamese Voters of Northern California.

The American Civil Liberties Union, NAACP of Silicon Valley, Asian Law Alliance, Asian-Americans for Community Involvement, La Raza Lawyers Association, Silicon Valley Debug along with Orange County Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Garden Grove Councilman Andrew H. Do have all called for justice in the Ho attack by police.