Former Houston Police Officer Tam Dinh Pham was sentenced to 45 days in prison Friday for his conviction on a misdemeanor charge from the January 6 Capitol riot.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelley told Pham that despite his inspiring immigrant story, and as a sworn police officer of 18 years he knew he was breaking the law. Pham has since resigned/been fired with the Houston police department and lost his pension. His "inspiring story" also made him front-page news back in Vietnam, bringing his family there great shame.
WASHINGTON — In what appeared to be a very close call for a federal judge, former Houston Police Officer Tam Dinh Pham was sentenced to 45 days in prison Friday for his conviction on a misdemeanor charge from the January 6 Capitol riot.
Pham broke down in tears as he addressed Kelly before sentencing.
“The day I was on the news my sister in Vietnam called and said the whole village watched me. I lost my reputation and my career and brought shame on my family especially my children,” Pham said. “The U.S. has given me so many opportunities. I’m so sorry for what I did.”
Kelly told Pham he strongly considered giving him probation, noting that, overall, he played a minor role in the riot and lost his job and pension as a consequence. But Kelly was bothered by Pham’s seeming unwillingness to take full responsibility for his actions.
Pham repeatedly told the court he “stupidly followed people in the Capitol.”
Kelley said as a police officer, Pham knew he was breaking the law.
“Your immigrant story is inspiring. I have no doubt you love this country,” Kelley said. “But you violated your sworn duties to uphold the Constitution and you added an air of legitimacy to what happened that day because you are a police officer.”