A former Miami Gardens police officer has been arrested and charged after video footage proved he used excessive force to arrest a woman and then subsequently lied on the report.
Jordy Yanes Martel has been charged with four counts of battery and two counts of official misconduct by the Miami-Dade state attorney, reports WSVN. He surrendered on Thursday morning and was booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center but bonded out later that night.
The charges stem from a January 14 incident when Martel used excessive force to arrest Safiya Satchell, who was pregnant at the time.
Satchell and her friend, Raheam Staats-Fleming, were at Tootsies Cabaret strip club when Satchell got into an argument with a manager over food, according to the Miami Herald. The manager refused to refund her money, and Satchell left.
Martel and Sgt. Arthur King were working off-duty security when the manager approached them and asked for Satchell to be issued a trespassing warning to prevent her from returning, claiming she was being “disorderly” reports Local 10.
As Satchell and Staats-Fleming got into her car, a security guard blocked them from leaving. When Martel approached the vehicle, he asked Satchell if he could speak to her, and she handed the officer her ID and asked why. Prosecutors state that the officer asked Satchell to come to his vehicle so he could issue her a warning, and the 33-year-old asked if she could drive over. When Satchell stated that her father’s a police officer, Martel said he didn’t care.
The officer then told Satchell to come with her.
Video footage, taken from the passenger seat of the car, shows Martel reaching into the car window to unlock the door, pulling Satchell from the vehicle and proceeding to use a leg sweeping technique to place her on the ground. Once she was on the floor, Martel placed his knee on her neck and then tased her twice in her stomach as she screamed.
The Miami gardens cop dragged Safiya Satchell out of her car, knelt on her neck and began using a taser on her.
She was pregnant and lost the child.
The cop got the sack.
The violence continues.#AbolishThePolice
(Major CW on that video) pic.twitter.com/AhotoAoHKw
— Anarchist ????Federation ❤???? (@AnarchistFed) June 26, 2020
“As a result of Martel’s actions, Ms. Satchell suffered abrasions to her stomach from the Tasers, bruises and abrasions on her arms and bruises on her legs,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle said. “By filing these criminal charges today against former Miami Gardens officers Jordy Yanes Martel, we are saying that these actions are just plain wrong.”
Satchell did not end up having a baby, but Forbes reports she did not lose the child as a result of the tasing.
Martel arrested Satchell on charges of battery against a cop and resisting arrest with violence.
In the arrest report, Martel claimed that Satchell closed the window on his hand and began “striking [him].” He said that Satchell then resisted arrest once she was out of the car by “tensing and kicking” and punched him in the lip purposely.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said that Martel had “no legal authority to detain the victim.”
Defense lawyers submitted the video to Miami-Dade prosecutors weeks ago. After watching the video, investigators found that the arrest report contained false statements.
“We felt very strongly that what he wrote in his affidavit and the incident report was completely made up,” Fernández Rundle said. “We’re not always fortunate to have this kind of evidence.”
The charges against Satchell have been dropped.
“If you’re an officer that has broken policy or acted under color of law with a belief that Black lives don’t matter, you ought to be looking over your shoulder because the chickens have finally come home to roost,” her lawyer, Jonathan Jordan said. “My client deserves to witness justice be served in this prosecution against this former officer where so many others in her position have not been as fortunate.”
Martel’s defense attorney Douglas Hartman spoke out against the arrest, saying Martel was “punched in the mouth” by Satchell who was “clearly intoxicated.” He said the case is politically motivated, as Fernandez Rundle is running for reelection and has been criticized for her lack of cases against police officers’ use of force.
“It’s an overreaction. Clearly, it’s a political move by Ms. Rundle’s office,” Hartman said.
Martel, who worked as an officer for less than two years, was fired last week along with officer Javier Castano for their involvement in another rough arrest at a gas station back in March.
More: fired officer Jordy Martel—who spent the day in jail Re: an unrelated rough arrest in January—can be seen pointing a weapon at the detained man on the groun at this Miami Gardens RaceTrac back in March. Martel and ex-officer Javier Castano have since been terminated. @wsvn
— Sheldon Fox-7 News (@fox_sheldon) June 26, 2020
“I terminated the officers because the behavior was egregious and will not be tolerated at the department,” Miami Gardens Police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt said.
Martel and Castano are being investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
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