UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Their high-profile cases made headlines, and now, two men who claimed to be victims of police brutality on Long Island have made their first public comments since some controversial actions involving police last week.
The cases are being highlighted as evidence for the need of a special prosecutor to handle those types of incidents.
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, Christopher Loeb and Kyle Howell have prior convictions. But they testified that they were victims of raw intimidation in raw political power.
In separate cases, they alleged excessive and criminal use of force at the hands of police.
“Every time I asked for a lawyer, I got hit again, I got hit again. I got choked. I got choked. I got punched. I got slapped. I got kicked,” Loeb said.
Loeb said he still fears for his life despite the arrest and incarceration of James Burke, the former Suffolk County police chief accused of beating him for a burglary, WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs reported.
A federal judge denied bail for former Chief Burke, with prosecutors calling him a danger to his community with a long-running campaign of coercion, corruption, conspiracy and cover-ups.
“Chief Burke threatened to kill me with a hot shot,” Loeb said. “He threatened to kill my mother.”
Burke arrived at Loeb’s Smithtown home to claim a duffel bag that Loeb allegedly stole out of his department-issued sport-utility vehicle -– allegedly containing a gun belt, handcuffs, sex toys and pornography.
Christopher Loeb’s mother, Jane Loeb, said she was home when Burke arrived.
“I’m just going to say I was there and I saw all this,” Jane Loeb said. “And I was crying on the inside, but I could not do anything.”
Later, while Christopher Loeb was in the stationhouse, federal prosecutors alleged Burke sought revenge and beat Loeb.
“I worry for my mother every day, I worry for me. I look over my shoulder everywhere I go,” Christopher Loeb said. “Punishment for minor crimes is not supposed to be a beating by the chief of police.”
Loeb spoke to the media Monday along with Kyle Howell, who last week lost his case against Nassau County Officer Vincent LoGiudice. The officer was acquitted of all charges in connection with the beating of Howell during a traffic stop last year that was captured on surveillance video.
“If the police can beat me and Kyle, they can beat anyone,” Loeb said.
A judge ruled that although Howell suffered serious injury when he was punched and kicked 19 times during the traffic stop, Howell still refused to show his hands and made a furtive movement toward the glove compartment to hide marijuana.
“(Loeb’s case) was a petty car theft and (Howell’s) was a petty marijuana offense, and both of them have that in common, and both of them were brutally beaten,” said Loeb’s attorney Amy Marion. “It says to me that the federal prosecutor’s office is the one who should be prosecuting these cases. They have a civil rights division. That’s what they are there for.”
Howell said he was disappointed by the verdict in his case.
“I feel like the judge should have made a better decision; hopefully that the federal investigation happens and that justice will come,” Howell said.
Burke pleaded not guilty last week to charges of deprivation of civil rights and conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice.
Loeb later pleaded guilty to a weapons charge and was sentenced to three years in prison; he was released last summer.
Burke resigned from the force in October after a 31-year career amid reports of the federal investigation.
Attorneys for Chief Burke said they expect complete exoneration, saying Loeb is a heroin addict.
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