Parents say Nassau cops racially profiled their son in taped encounter

Kyle Howell, 20, of Westbury, on Tuesday, May Kyle Howell, 20, of Westbury, on Tuesday, May 6, 2014, in Garden City, speaks at his attorney's office about a beating by two Nassau police officers during an April 25, 2014 traffic stop. Photo Credit: Howard Schnapp

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The parents of a 20-year-old Westbury man who said two Nassau cops beat him during a traffic stop recorded by a store video camera say their son was a victim of racial profiling.

Kyle Howell's parents also said Tuesday that they want the police officers involved in his April 25 arrest prosecuted.

"There was no mercy shown as they broke the bones in my son's face. Now we live in fear of those who are sworn to protect him," mother Joan Howell, 48, said at a news conference.

The family said the encounter happened during one of Howell's more than 12 traffic stops in the past 18 months, with police searching his car each time.

Authorities said Monday that Nassau prosecutors are probing police conduct and the charges against Howell. Police internal affairs investigators are looking into the actions of officers identified through records as Vincent Logiudice and Basil Gomez. They are on modified duty.

A lawyer who filed a notice of claim for Kyle Howell against the county, seeking unspecified damages, said the officers are white. Howell is black. A police spokesman said he couldn't comment on the allegations because they are part of an internal affairs probe.

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Police alleged in criminal complaints that Howell assaulted the officers during a Westbury traffic stop. They said he kicked and punched them after they tried to retrieve marijuana he put in his mouth. Howell denies fighting police or having drugs. He says the alleged beating took place after police took a cellphone he was using to record them.

Howell said one of the same officers warned him in a January stop he would use force if he tried to record him in the future.

He faces charges including assault, evidence tampering, resisting arrest and criminal possession of a controlled substance. Police reported finding a plastic bag allegedly containing cocaine after searching his car.

Howell said he broke his nose and has fractures near both eyes, facial nerve damage and emotional scars.

"It's because I'm in fear of the police now," he said.

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