From the Editor: Police beating leaves questions

October 30, 2009

by Taylor Aswell

It has happened once again. A group of police officers are being investigated for using excessive force.

A group of four San Jose police officers were caught on video hitting a 20-year-old Vietnamese college student multiple times with a metal baton, including once in the head, and using a Taser after they were called in to respond to an altercation involving the student.

The student, Phuong Ho, had apparently created a stir with his roommate after a prank on Ho went wrong.

Ho eventually pulled a knife on his roommate, saying that if they were where he grew up, he could cut his throat for the prank he pulled.

When the police arrived, Ho was not armed, but when asked to comply with a request from the police, Ho ignored them and the police took him down.

The brutality that comes into question involves the last hit Ho endured.
Ho was struck with the metal baton after his hands were handcuffed.

Seriously? Why hit a guy who is handcuffed? The damage had already been done.

Even before he was handcuffed, Ho took a lot of blows. I was not there to see what might have provoked the police to have the reaction that they had, but from the footage I saw, he did nothing to deserve the beating he received.

The first thing I thought about after reading about this incident was the first time I suffered through the Rodney King video. King was beaten by police for no reason other than race.

Why are things like this still happening? Race was obviously involved in King’s case, whether or not it was in this is still up in the air.

Out of everything Americans are worrying about, the police should be at the bottom of the list.

They are trained and hired to protect and serve the citizens, but sometimes they can take things a little too far.

Now don’t get me wrong. Ho should have definitely followed the orders the police gave him, but the police could have subdued him with far less force than they used.

The scary thing in this incident is in the fact that it could happen to anyone.

Catching a policeman with a temper on a bad day could be a mistake you did not plan on making. Obviously, to be in this situation in the first place, you would have to take some degree of blame, but things should never have to escalate to this level.

I am not saying that every cop out there would do something like this, but obviously there are some, or incidents like the one with Ho would not have occurred.

There are bad seeds working in every vocational field there is; it is just discomforting to know that there are some carrying around guns and badges.

Taylor Aswell is a senior journalism major from Calhoun who serves as editor-in-chief for The Tech Talk.