A judge has cleared Nassau County police officer Vincent LoGuidice on charges of brutality and excessive force in a case stemming from a vehicle stop in 2014.
During the traffic stop, a portion of which was caught on tape, Officer LoGuidice is seen striking Kyle Howell, now aged 22, at least 18 times.
While the prosecution claimed excessive force, LoGuidice’s attorneys argued that the video did not tell the entire story of what transpired between the officer and Howell and that Howell had been resisting arrest and had lunged for the glove box of his vehicle during the encounter.
LoGuidice’s attorneys argued that the officer’s use of force was reasonable and justified.
Judge Patricia Harrington agreed, stating, “Kyle Howell has testified that in an attempt to prevent himself from getting arrested for a marijuana charge and facing a violation of probation and possible jail, he threw himself across the console of the car to grab the bag of a marijuana from the glove box. He stated that he knew that what he was doing could cause the police to perceive it in a dangerous way; that the police might think that he was posing a risk to them and they might think he was reaching for a weapon. Yet he continued to do what he was doing.”
The judge continued, “It can come as no surprise then to Mr. Howell, that the defendant did think all those things as he ran back to the passenger side after seeing Kyle Howell lunge across the car. Despite repeated request from the defendant, Kyle Howell never opened his hands to show the officer that he had nothing of danger.”
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