Vietnamese Student Sues San Jose Police for Excessive Force

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A Vietnamese university student whose videotaped arrest provoked controversy and anger last year has filed a lawsuit against the San Jose Police for using excessive violence.

Ho Quang Phuong, a student at California State University in San Jose, is seeking $6 million in damages in a lawsuit filed with the city’s federal court.

Police had no reason to use a stun gun and hit him with a baton more than a dozen times when arresting him on suspicion of brandishing a deadly weapon and allegedly resisting arrest on Sept., 3, 2009, the plaintiff claims.

The arrest was conducted after one of Phương’s roommates told police that the 21-year-old had threatened to kill him with a steak knife during a dinnertime altercation.

While Phuong was unarmed, four police officers beat him at least 13 times with batons and shot him twice with a Taser gun, which administers a powerful electrical shock designed to disrupt voluntary muscle functions. The incident was secretly videotaped with a cell phone by another roommate.