Two Khanh Hoa police officers have been suspended for allegedly beating a 14-year-old boy to death during interrogation.
Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Ho Son, police chief of the central province's Van Ninh District, said the officers, identified only as Tam and Phat, of Van Long Commune are accused of brutally beating Tu Ngoc Thach after taking him to a police station for questioning.
Tu Ngoc Thien, Thach's older brother, told news website VTC that he and Thach had a fight with a group of boys at a tea shop last Sunday morning.
He and Thach left but the latter returned with two friends to confront the group, but the two sides reconciled after talking.
When Thach's friend then drove him home, two police officers accosted Thach to arrest him, but he resisted.
He tried to flee and the officers gave chase. One of them caught up with him and slammed him on the head with a crash helmet.
He fell into a water-logged rice field, but the officers pulled him out and took him to a police station.
Tu Ngoc Thanh, the boys' oldest brother, said he received a phone call from the commune police at around 8 p.m. that day asking him to pick up his brother.
After reaching home, Thach said he was tired. He vomited and was rushed to hospital early Monday morning.
He fell into a coma and died Tuesday morning.
An autopsy showed he had brain injuries, cracked ribs, and bladder trauma.
Thach's family accused the police of brutally beating him. According to Thanh, before Thach died he said that the officers hit him on the head with a helmet so many times that the helmet broke and kicked him in the stomach until he passed out.
On Tuesday morning thousands of locals gathered in front of the Van Long Commune people's committee, the local government, to demand that the police explain the death.
The Van Long police, while refusing to reveal the full names of two officers accused of beating off Thach, told reporters Wednesday they are questioning Le Tan Khoe, 14, who allegedly threw a bottle at Thach's head during the fight at the tea shop.