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Policeman in Vietnam suspended after being filmed stomping on brawl witness

Wednesday, January 30, 2019, 18:06 GMT+7
Policeman in Vietnam suspended after being filmed stomping on brawl witness
A still photo taken from footage uploaded on Facebook of an officer stomping on a witness at a police station in Tuy Hoa City, Phu Yen Province in south-central Vietnam on January 29, 2019.

A police officer in the south-central province of Phu Yen has been suspended after footage of him stomping on a witness to a brawl surfaced online.

In the 30-second clip uploaded on Facebook, a man could be seen lying on the ground at a police station in Phu Yen when another man dressed in law enforcement uniform approached him and started kicking on his stomach and head.

It was only when another police officer intervened that the two disengaged.

The man being attacked appears drunk in the footage.

It has been confirmed with Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper that the man in the clip is Le Huu Quoc, a resident in Tuy Hoa, the capital of Phu Yen.

The confrontation took place at the headquarters of Phu Thanh Ward Police in Tuy Hoa, and the officer who attacked Quoc is Huynh Minh Le, deputy chief of Phu Thanh police.

Footage uploaded on Facebook of an officer stomping on a witness at a police station in Tuy Hoa City, Phu Yen Province in south-central Vietnam on January 29, 2019.

According to Quoc’s accounts of the incident, he was invited to the police station on Tuesday afternoon to give a witness statement after he tried to break up a brawl between two local men.

 Quoc and another witness were taken to separate rooms to collect their statements.

“After a while, I saw that the other witness left a room shirtless before abruptly returning inside, so I ran toward him and asked what had happened,” Quoc said.

“He said he was told to take his shirt off so officers could take photos of his wounds as evidence,” he said.

“As I was returning to the front room, Le entered the police station, asked me where I was going before he strangled me, pushed me over, and stomped all over my body,” Quoc recounted.

After he had returned home, Quoc said around a dozen of uniformed and plain-clothed officers came to his residence the same evening, equipped with bulletproof vests, pistols and batons, and ‘invited’ him to follow them to the police station for some business, which he declined.

The 40-minute encounter was also filmed and uploaded online.

The headquarters of Phu Thanh Ward Police in Tuy Hoa City, Phu Yen Province in south-central Vietnam. Photo: Nhat Tran / Tuoi Tre
The headquarters of Phu Thanh Ward Police in Tuy Hoa City, Phu Yen Province in south-central Vietnam. Photo: Nhat Tran / Tuoi Tre

“According to initial reports, Quoc had consumed alcohol and was speaking loudly [at the police station],” Dung said.

“When Le asked him to tone it down, Quoc lied down on the ground and made a scene,” he added.

Dung admitted Le had displayed an inappropriate behavior by “using his foot to apply an impact on Quoc”.

“We have temporarily suspended Le from work and asked him to submit a written report on the incident,” Dung said.

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