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Black NY Drug Suspect Filmed Being Beaten By Police Seeks Federal Hate-Crime Suit

  1. Beenthere2Hippie
    GARDEN CITY - A man beaten by police during a traffic stop caught on video is asking federal prosecutors to take over the case because he believes the local district attorney doesn't consider him the victim of a hate crime.

    An attorney for Kyle Howell, 21, said at a news conference Wednesday that Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice should be replaced as the lead prosecutor in the case against Officer Vincent LoGiudice.

    LoGuidice has pleaded not guilty to assault charges for punching and kicking Howell during an April traffic stop in Westbury.

    During the encounter, which was captured on nearby surveillance cameras, LoGiudice and another white officer are seen speaking with Howell briefly before LoGiudice walks behinds the car and then runs back to the passenger-side door. The officers then appear to begin punching and kicking Howell, who is black.

    LoGuidice's partner was not charged.

    Howell was arrested on assault, resisting arrest and drug charges. The officers said Howell was involved in a "violent struggle" when he tried to swallow a bag of marijuana.

    Howell initially denied those allegations at a news conference in May, but he later told prosecutors he lied and was trying to toss the drugs when the officers pummeled him. Criminal charges against him were dropped in May, weeks before the officer was arrested.

    Howell's attorney, Amy Marion, said Rice has "decided to abandon her duty" by not recognizing Howell as the victim of a "racially motivated beating." She said Nassau prosecutors are treating the case "starkly different" than others and that additional charges should have been brought.

    Howell is now asking Loretta Lynch, the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York, to take over the case and begin investigating it as a possible federal hate crime. A spokeswoman for Lynch didn't immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

    "If this was a young white male, he would not have been assaulted in this way - absolutely not," Marion said.

    LoGuidice's lawyer disputed Marion's assertions.

    "Not only isn't this a hate crime, it's not a crime at all," William Petrillo, said. "All force used was necessary and reasonable."

    A spokesman for Rice, who is running for Congress, said Marion was making "irresponsible and false allegations" that "will not help seek justice in this case." Paul Leonard insisted there was no justification for another prosecutor to step in.

    Howell has filed notice that he intends to sue the police department.

    By Michael Balsamo - AP via ABC News/Oct. 15, 2014
    Photo: Newsday.com
    Newshawk Crew

    Author Bio

    BT2H is a retired news editor and writer from the NYC area who, for health reasons, retired to a southern US state early, and where BT2H continues to write and to post drug-related news to DF.


  1. Nosferatus
    Many people seem to believe that any amount of force applied to them was excessive. I'd be really interested in knowing what leads Mr. Howell to believe that the actions taken against him by police were not only excessive, but motivated by racial hatred.
  2. Beenthere2Hippie
    You obviously did not grow up in our near the Greater NY area. Police violence against blacks is and has been a very common crime in NY over the years. Check the stats.

  3. Nosferatus
    ^^You're right, I didn't, and I don't know exactly how the police interact with black people there, I just can't picture it being all that different from anywhere else, and I certainly can't see it warranting a presumption of guilt in an accusation of excessive force just because the subject happens to be black. Some police officers should not be police officers, some use force that is excessive or even outright unwarranted, and there are some physical manifestations of racial prejudice, that doesn't mean that every time physical force is used against a black subject, or anyone else, that those factors are at play. The trouble I have with this particular accusation is at no point is it articulated why the subject feels the use of force was excessive, other than him being black and the police officers involved being white, making such an accusation solely on those grounds is in and of itself racist. Keep in mind that by virtue of being required to uphold the law and maintain public safety, the police are in fact permitted to use reasonable physocal force to overcome resistance, and prevent a subject from otherwise impeding their performing their duties.
  4. Beenthere2Hippie
    Well, Nosferatus. Here in the news section of the site we put up stories, unbiasedly. As to whether this particular young man is guilty or not will be decided by the courts or a jury of his peers, and I or another crew member will report the story's development from there, whenever that takes place.

    Please keep in mind that unlike opinion threads, which you are familiar with and fond of, news threads are not places for debate just for the sake of debate, but more discussion threads, where people back their points up with quote and verse and looks to enlighten and not bicker.

    Unless you have a comment that adds value to the this thread, your comments may then likely lead the thread into going off-subject (which often winds up closing such a thread down and leaves little room for other posters with important and/or pertinent information to add their valued comments to this thread. And when any thread of interest closes down, no one is served.
  5. Nosferatus
    All I was doing was commenting on a story, I'm sorry that you seem to have an issue with that. Might I point out that you also offered an opinion regarding the relationship of the greater New York police and black citizens.
  6. babalooj
    Guys, guys, guys, calm down. lmfao

    Bt2h, are you from NY yourself? I can say from my experience that many, many NYC cops are racist, but then there are also quite a lot of police of other races, blacks, asians, hispanics, etc. to kinda (sorta) balance that out. Also, the police round here are known for beating people, regardless of their race; it fuckin pisses me off. Knowing, personally, two people (happening to be white) who have been beaten by police officers (with no consequences for the pigs, but legal trouble for the beaten over some petty bullshit) is knowing 2 too many people with such an experience.

    I think it should be somewhat easy to prove if the force used on Howell was excessive, but much harder to prove it was provoked by racism or hatred

    I believe opinions are valuable for the news section, so long as it is relevant, and doesn't get out of hand with arguments or off-topic discussions. But it is important that members know that the posting of the articles is unbiased, and that the viewpoints expressed in them do not necessarily represent those of the person posting them.
  7. soso
    I'm not saying this is the case here but I've seen people play the race card too many times before, a is and Asians round by me always start crying about being wrongfully stopped and searched by police and claim they are unfairly treated, it makes me laugh because most the time the police were right to stop them.
    I've heard my black mates on about how harsh they been treated when being arrested and all I can think is that I've been proper fucked up by police a few times, if they got it in for you it don't matter what colour you are, one officer nearly broke my arm trying to handcuff my hands behind my back, they do it on purpose, they twist your arm behind your back so you naturally try to stop them which they then call resisting arrest and that aparantly gives them the right to slam you on the ground and kneel on your face lol
  8. Beenthere2Hippie
    For the record, I was born in Jersey City NJ (which, as I'm sure you, babalooj, know) is literally within spitting distance of the Island of Manhattan, and spent the bulk of my life in Manhattan, Staten Island, Long Island and the Bronx and Brooklyn. Just like Jersey "hosts" the NY Giants on Jersey turf, New York hosts many "transit residents Jerseyans" who, though from New Jersey (Hoboken, Fort Lee, Jersey City, Edgewater, et al), are active members of the Greater NY community, since they both work, eat, play, cop drugs and have the bulk of their cop run-ins in New York, during their daily NY visits and/or commutes. Yes, I am a New Yorker in all the ways relevant to the word. Further, I did live in the East Village for time, but the rent got astronomical that I had to move back to the Jersey side of the river.

    I also, like you bablooj, personally believe that although Howell was probably not a total innocent, and that NY cops did beat him and, this time, get caught up in more of a current national scandal than they bargained for, with the cop-related killings of black youths taking place in the country in the past year or so. So it will be interesting to see how this all comes about. Thanks for a well-thought out and stimulating post.

    *I also agree that NY cops will beat of people of any color for little or no reason, of the mood moves them to.

  9. Nosferatus
    And by all you mean one?

    While I agree that it's perfectly possible that the police used excessive force as a means of unofficially punishing someone who made their job harder, by say, attempting to swallow and/or throw out of their car a piece of evidence, weirder things have most certainly happened, I find it truly amazing that an apparently significant amount of people earnestly believe that police apparently patrol the streets looking for visible minorities to harass and/or beat, that mentality lends credence to a lot of frivolous accusations. It's not right for the police to use more force than a given situation warrants, it's also quite erroneous to assume that every time someone of a different race than you does something you don't like that racism was their motive, it's as if some people believe that a white cop is never justified in arresting a black person, even less so if the arrest involves any level of force being used, apparently black people never break the law.
  10. Booty love
    All this happend because he was trying to eat a bag of marijuana? Yet another terrible situation as a result of the legality of something that shouldn't be illegal in the first place!
  11. Nosferatus
    ^^I agree, but the fact of the matter is it is illegal, he was attempting to destroy evidence and may have resisted when police attempted to stop him from doing so. This article is a little thin on the details in making it's point, while it is quite adament that an incident of hate motivated police brutality took place, it doesn't really tell us how that conclusion was reached.
  12. Nosferatus
    ^^I agree, but the fact of the matter is it is illegal, he was attempting to destroy evidence and may have resisted when police attempted to stop him from doing so. This article is a little thin on the details in making it's point, while it is quite adament that an incident of hate motivated police brutality took place, it doesn't really tell us how that conclusion was reached.

    Babalooj: I doubt that this was your intention, but your post sort of reads like you're suggesting only white people, specifically white police officers, are capable of being racists, that black, asian, hispanic or whatever else police officers are, by definition, not racists.
  13. perro-salchicha614
    Police don't have to literally patrol the streets looking for minorities to harass for their behavior to be racist. Racism often exerts itself in much more subtle, opportunistic ways. While the police might not set out to harass minorities, when do happen to come into contact with them, the results often reflect racism. This is a well-known, widespread problem in the US. I'm not saying that whites are NEVER the victims of police brutality as well, but it is much less common. I wish that there were some way that we could watch the video and judge for ourselves whether the force used by the police was appropriate.
  14. Nosferatus
    ^^I would say police brutality tends to happen more to a certain kind of person, and that kind of person isn't defined by the colour of their skin but rather their lifestyle, they tend to be people who support their degenerate lifestyle through low level criminal activity, they're more likely to have negative encounters with police, the police consider them more a pain in the ass than anything and act accordingly, and they have little recourse, people see them as human garbage, even if anyone heard their complaint, no-one would honestly care, and certain violently inclined police officers take advantage of that fact. Police brutality is as prevalent in the trailer park as the ghetto.

    As for judging whether it was excessive, civilians are notoriously poor judges of that type of thing, nothing about Rodney King's treatment by the LAPD, for example, was actually contrary to any use of force policy or police self defense philosophy, and no charges could ultimately be laid, yet the average persons view of the situation didn't reflect that. As I mentioned above, people have a tendency to view any amount of force, especially of it's applied to them, as excessive.
  15. perro-salchicha614
    First of all, what evidence do we have that the victim lives a "degenerate" lifestyle? If you really think that possession of a bag of marijuana makes somebody a "degenerate" who deserves to be beaten by the police, then why are you on a site like this? Second, I don't think of anyone as "human garbage" regardless of his/her socioeconomic background, and I'm sure others share this sentiment.

    Obviously, somebody cares about what happens to people (mostly minorities) who are treated poorly by the police, or nobody would even bother to report stories like this one. A lot of people (some whites included) are very disturbed by the brutality that police often show toward minorities in the US. The generalizations that you're making are inaccurate and hateful.
  16. Nosferatus
    ^^Read my last post more carefully, I said that the type of people who tend to fall victim to police brutality tend to live a degenerate lifestyle, I don't know enough about this subject to comment on his lifestyle, the article doesn't provide that information, all that aside from the fact that no-one deserves to be beaten, as in struck in a manner intended primarily to cause pain and harm, by the police, unfortunately gaining control og a non-compliant subject sometimes requires using a level of force that can cause some measure of bodily harm. I don't think of most people as human garbage either, but many people do, that's one of the biggest causes of the complacency that allows things like police brutality and serial killers preying on prostitutes to happen.

    All I said was that being a visible minority does not increase one's risk of being on the receiving end of excessive force nearly as much as being the type of person who could be perceived as troublesome.

    One of the biggest issues I have is that people seem to expect cops to also be psychologists and even magicians, but the sad reality is that not much else can be done with someone who is beyond advice, persuasion or warning than to physically force compliance. When force is used, people seem to believe that it should not have the potential to cause harm at all, which is when you hear the arguments about simply grabbing and holding the irate subject or shooting guns out of hands or simply grabbing knives away, people seem to not have he strongest grasp on reality.
  17. perro-salchicha614
    The problem is that minorities are much more likely to "be perceived as troublesome" by the police simply due to the fact that there are stereotypes associated with them. In the US, the stereotypes which are applied to minorities are much more pervasive and damaging than those which are applied to "trailer park" whites.

    In a previous post, you defended the police by saying that they were doing their job and that the victim was breaking the law, but try to place yourself in his position. If you were him, would you just willingly give yourself up, or would you try to hide the evidence? I know what I'd do. That certainly doesn't justify him being beaten by the police.

    Who defines "degenerate" anyway? It's such a subjective term.
  18. Nosferatus
    What sterotype is more damaging is a matter of opinion not fact. I will put forth that a middle aged black man from the suburbs is no more likely to be perceived as troublesome than a similar white man.

    Attempting to hide evidence is perfectly understandable, that doesn't change the fact it's illegal and the police are justified in using force to prevent it from happening, what do you want me to say? That the police are wrong for preventing the loss of evidence? It hasn't actually been determined whether the level of force was excessive or not.

    In my mind, a degenerate is someone who aims to take as much as they can from society while contributing as little as possible, someone whos existence is generally detrimental to society.
  19. Beenthere2Hippie
    As further written and taped evidence of standard NY Police brutality on blacks I offer this for consideration, here.
  20. Nosferatus
    ^^According to most use of force policies, it is perfectly acceptable to use OC spray against someone who behaves in a physically aggressive manner as seen in the video, or even an actively resistant subject, as I've said before, the police are allowed to use reasonable force to gain control of a subject. I'm curious as to why you refer to "standard NY Police brutality on blacks" as if brutalizing black people is the official policy of any police department, I also find it interesting that the first cop in the incident is black, how do you explain that as racism?
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