Last January, Kyle Howell was pulled over by Nassau County police in New York and pulled out his phone to record the stop, only to get threatened with violence if he dared do it again.
Last month, he was pulled over again by the same officer, boldly pulling out his phone to record the stop despite the previous threat – only for the cop and another cop to make good on the threat by viciously beating him in a violent rage.
The cops prevented him from recording the arrest, enabling them to conjure a story that they were the ones attacked in a “violent struggle” that sent them to the hospital for treatment, justifying felony charges against the 20-year-old man who had only been pulled over for a cracked windshield.
But then a surveillance video emerged showing that the cops were the aggressors. And now his family is planning on suing.
According to Newsday:
A lawyer for Howell filed a legal claim against the county Monday seeking unspecified damages.
Howell said he didn’t put up a fight but suffered a broken nose, bone fractures near both eyes and facial nerve damage.
After Howell’s release on $10,000 bond following a hospital arraignment, he and his father got a video from a store security camera that captured his police encounter, according to his family. Howell said he also started recording on his cellphone before the officers came up to his car. He said police began beating him after one officer took away his phone. Howell said the same officer had warned him during a January traffic stop not to record him again.
“He said ‘The next time you record me I will use physical force to stop you,’ ” Howell said.
He recalled getting a knee to his face, being hit repeatedly in the head and hearing police telling him to spit something out.
He said he was only chewing gum, didn’t have any drugs, and didn’t hit the police back.
Attorney Amy Marion filed the notice of claim with the county Monday claiming Howell was the victim of false arrest, excessive police force, and deprived of his civil rights, including by Nassau University Medical Center employees who concealed illegal police behavior.
Howell, who may be left with permanent vision problems, was charged with assaulting the cops, tampering with physical evidence and resisting arrest.
As ironic as it is, the tampering with evidence charge stems from the allegation that Howell had been trying to eat marijuana police had found in his car.
He insists he was only chewing gum.
This is what he told CBS:
“I remember getting a knee to my face and after that, I don’t really remember much. I was hit in the head so many times,” Howell said. “They were telling me to spit something out of my mouth.”
“They came out of the car, I gave them my information, they opened up the door and my paycheck started to fly out the door. I went to go reach and the next thing you know, I got a knee to the face. And then the next thing I remember, I was in the hospital,” he said.
The officers, Vincent Logiudice and Basil Gomez, have been placed on “modified duty where they don’t have contact with the public and can’t earn overtime pending the outcome of the internal affairs probe,” but judging by their salaries, they will probably survive without having to milk the taxpayers for more overtime dollars.
Records show Logiudice joined the police force in 2007 and earns $145,900 a year, and Gomez joined the department in 2005 and earns an annual salary of $160,867.
In 2008, internal affairs probed an alleged beating incident after a complaint involving an officer named Basil Gomez, but a police spokesman said Monday the law kept him from disclosing the outcome.
But you know they would have released the outcome of that investigation had he been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Check out the surveillance video below.