Nguyen Thi My Linh, a woman from Ben Tre Province, tells the story of Ho Chi Minh City police officers damaging her coffee shop and beating her son. Photo courtesy of Tuoi Tre
Three police officers and a government official in Ho Chi Minh City have been censured for attacking a resident in the southern province of Ben Tre while having drinks.
Nguyen Thi My Linh, 66, the owner of a coffee shop where the attack took place March 8, said 11 officers beat up her son because he asked them to behave, Tuoi Tre newspaper reported.
Linh said one of them had kicked and damaged a stool at the shop and she asked him to stop.
The group took umbrage and tried to damage more stools to challenge her when her son Nguyen Thanh Liem, 36, intervened.
Several of the group then confronted Liem, who tried to flee. But they chased after him ,picked up a thermos bottle from the house and hit him on his head, causing him burns.
Her husband Nguyen Van Tan, 69, was thrown to the ground when he tried to come to Liem's aid.
A local police report said Liem had suffered “insignificant injuries” while his mother said he had to be hospitalized.
It said the violence escalated following an argument between the group and Linh over compensation for a damaged stool.
The members of the group are officials and police officers from HCMC’s Districts 5 and 9 who were in Ben Tre for a party and stopped at the shop while returning to the city.
By the time the local police arrived after the family complained, the group had left and only four of them returned when summoned by the Ben Tre police.
They were Truong Manh Thao, 30, an urban management official in District 5, and police officers Tran Nhu Y and Nguyen Minh Hai, 25, and Doan Dang Minh Vuong, 27. Y works in District 9 and the others in District 5.
Le Phuoc Truong, chief of the District 5 police, said the officers had violated rules and would be punished after an investigation.
“We are not ruling out the option of dismissal from the police force if their conduct is deemed to have caused serious damage to [its] prestige,” Tuoi Tre quoted him as saying.
He said the Ben Tre police have the authority to impose penalties, but the officers' chiefs would be sent to apologize to the family.
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