Charges dropped for SJSU student Tased

February 23, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
San Jose State student Phuong Ho's violent arrest was captured on cell phone video in the South Bay. On Tuesday, the district attorney dropped all charges against Ho who was accused of resisting arrest. Police have maintained they were justified using their batons and Tasers.

Ho says he still has some physical pain from being hit that night, but that this decision is helping his emotional wounds heal.

Seeing the video still makes Ho cringe. His cries can be heard as the San Jose police use a baton and Taser on him. Police claim he was resisting arrest after threatening his roommate with a knife, but when police arrived, Ho was unarmed.

The foreign exchange student was charged with brandishing a weapon and resisting arrest and now the D.A. has dropped those charges.

"I'm a free man in a free country," says Ho.

"I believe my client is not guilty from the beginning," says Ho's attorney Duyen Nguyen.

The district attorney is clear that is not why the charges were dropped. The decision has to do with the evidence and the strength of the case.

"We felt that with the images on the video, that it was unlikely we would be able to convince 12 jurors to return a guilty verdict," says D.A. spokesperson Nick Muyo.

One of Ho's roommates recorded the entire event on his cell phone. Ho was hit more than 10 times.

The video, originally obtained by the Mercury News, has sparked outrage within the Vietnamese community and the ACLU thinks dropping the charges against Ho proves police used excessive force.

"We certainly think it's a reflection on what the circumstances actually were and the video itself is very telling," says Skyler Porras with the ACLU.

The video is an important part of Ho's civil case against the City of San Jose. Ho is suing for $6 million; still he says he is ready to move on.

"I don't have any feelings against the police officers. It's just that particular night some misunderstandings happened," says Ho.

The D.A. and internal affairs are still looking into whether the four officers, who are on administrative leave, acted appropriately or whether they broke any laws.