Thursday, October 29, 2009

Assemblyman Van Tran & His Tactics

For the last few weeks, there have been postings in various Vietnamese-American e-mail groups by Van Tran's cohorts attacking County Supervisor Janet Nguyen as a communist sympathizer.  This is a very strange tone by Assemblyman Van Tran even for his many hard tactics against Nguyen, considering that he is facing a primary against Quang Pham in June 2010 for the right to challenge the incumbent Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (D)

Everybody knows in Little Saigon that Tran has many times used the McCarthyism tactic against people whom he feels that could potentially be his political threats.  Last year, he personally sent out 20,000 mailers from his state assembly office as an open letter to the community.  The mailer had his picture and the official letter head of the state assemly.  The letter urged the community not the vote for Janet Nguyen for she is a communist.  Why she is a communist?  Because she received political donation from a businessman who has business in Vietnam. 

Previously, he had asked his henchman, Cao sinh Cuong, to call in the Garden Grove Unified School District to force them to rescind their nomination of Nguyen Lam Kim Oanh as the first Vietnamese-American superitendent ever.  Cao called in and accused Kim Oanh of being a communist agent.  The school board, knowing the anti-communist ferver of Little Saigon, decided to remove Kim Oanh from the position after they had announced her appointment.  Kim Oanh has now sued Cuong for libel and defamation.

So why Van is still on the offensive with Janet Nguyen?  Does he not realize that without Janet Nguyen's support for his congressional candidacy, he has little chance to win.  Nguyen's district is 40% of  the congressional district 47. 

Van is a controversial candidate within in his own community.  His political machine and its intimidating tactic to have complete political control of Little Saigon has the OC Register called him the "Godfather of Little Saigon" and his cohorts are referred in the community as as the "Gang of Seven", including the two infamous Trung Nguyen and Andy Quach. 

The community is ambivalent about Tran and it shows in his lack of fund raising support within his community.   It does not help when people found out that his biggest campaign contributors are David, Duong, Victor Duong and Hoang Kieu.  The three most celebrated businesmen doing business in Vietnam with their multimillion dollars ventures.  Of course, Hoang Kieu earlier this year even had the Vietnam communist government recognized him in a special ceremony with the State President Nguyen minh Triet. 

His name recognition in the mainstream media so far is his ethnicity, his freedom flag issue, his anti-communist resolution against communist agents doing business in Wesminster,   his interference with the DUI investigation and his wife's conviction of one of the largest automobile & medical insurance frauds in the state of California.

For Van Tran to realistically have a chance in D47 where there is only 12% Vietnamese-American voters, he needs to learn that this is a race that if he loses, his political career is over.

San Jose Police Department

Captain Phan Ngo, one of a very few Vietnamese American police officers in the SJPD, was on Vietnamese-American radio trying to calm the community.   He took the department position of this is a very rare case .  Ngo claimed only 1% or less.   He mentioned that the department will go through its internal investigation to determine if there is any wrondoing by the police officers.

Jenny Do, the lawyer who did the interview, reminded him that in this case there was a video.  How many other incidences of police abuse of Asian Americans that are not being brought forward due to lack of witness or video?

SJPD should release all record of resistance arrest by Asian Americans and how many had to go to the hospital afterward.  

At the press conference on Tuesdayheld by Viet-American Voters of Northern California along with Asian Law Alliance, ACLU, NCAAP, Silicon Valley De-Bug other civil rights groups,  Councilmember Sam Liccardo spoke and reiterated his request for an open and full investigation.  Madison Nguyen was inside city hall speaking to reporters. Liccardo, Nguyen and Councilmber Ash Kalra had publicly requested an open and full investigation.

Nguyen in her interviews with Vietnamese-American press has gone as far as saying she wanted a reform of the SJPD. 

What will  DA Dolores Carr do?  She can always have close grand jury investigation similar with Daniel Pham where the evidence is being heard one sided. 

This is now become a waiting game with political consequences for Dolores Carr and an international black eye for Chuck Reed and SJPD.

Monday, October 26, 2009

SJPD Beating and An International Focus on San Jose

The BBC came calling for an interview and so the international media circus has began.  As an international student at San Jose State University, Phuong Ho has become a center of media attention for his unfortunate run-in with 4 San Jose City policemen in his dorm.  He was allegedly beaten with batons and Taser gun while laying on the floor and handcuffed. 

Undoubtly the Vietnamese Consulate will involve at one point or another to protect its citizen, especially one that has his human rights violated.  Today, his lawyer, Nguyen Hoang Duyen, had an interview with an international human rights group and had file a civil rights complain.  Nguyen is an associate dean of Lincoln Law School.  This is a small private law school.  The school's faculty includes - Ash Kalra (ex-public defender and currenlty San Jose city councilmember), three superior court judges including Barrett Thang Nguyen and one of the well known criminal lawyers in California - Guyton Jinkerson.

LSI is not a betting person and do not know enough about the law but it is a safe bet to say that the DA office will not proceed with a trial and that the police officers will not be charged with anything.

Asian  Law Alliance will have a townhall meeting with representatives of community groups this Wednesday at 2:00 PM (at their headquarters) on the issue of police excessive use of force as well as civil rights of minorities in San Jose.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

City Councilmember Ash Kalra + Phuong Ho Beating Incident

Councilmember Ash Kalra stopped by the VANORCAL's community center this afternoon at the invitation to speak to the community about the SJPD beating of an unarmed and handcuffed student from San Jose State University. 

As a minority (He is Indo-American) and an ex-public defender, he said that he was very disturbed by the video.  He mentioned that he will ask other councilmembers to fully investigate the incidence. 

The community will have a press conference at 6:00 PM on Tuesday, Oct. 27, in front of San Jose City Hall.
The press conference will be organized and lead by the Viet American Voters of Northern California, a nonprofit organization focusing on promoting Vietnamese-American voices in the community.

San Jose Police Brutal Beating of a Vietnamese Student in San Jose

The San Jose Mercury News released a video tape of an unarmed  San Jose State UniversityVietnamese student, Phuong Ho, 20 year-old math major from Ho chi Minh City,  being beating 10 times with a baton and and used Taser gun while he was handcuffed.

According to the Mercury News -

"It takes me back to the day I saw the Rodney King video on TV," said Roger Clark, a certified policing expert and a retired lieutenant with the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department, where he served for 27 years.

The video tape was made by his roommate using cell phone and sold to Ho's lawyer, Nguyen hoang Duyen.

His roommate is an eyewitness and could not believe the beating of an unarmed classmate.   The SJPD this year shot to death a mentally retarded Daniel Pham and so far has refused to release information about the case despite the community's request.