A recently fired Miami Gardens police officer who was shown in a January video clip holding his knee against the neck of a pregnant black woman while tasting her repeatedly in the stomach has been arrested and charged with assault and official misconduct, the Miami-Dade State Attorney announced Thursday.
The officer, Jordy Yanes Martel, can be seen in a video pulling 33-year-old Safiya Satchell out of her vehicle before putting her knee against his neck and stunning her twice with a Taser, while Satchell screams.
Satchell, who was a few weeks pregnant at the time, was going to lose the child.
The incident occurred early in the morning of January 14 outside a strip club called Tootsies Cabaret.
There, Satchell had an argument with a club manager about food, and that manager then addressed Martel and another officer, asking him to give him a rape warning.
When Satchell got into her vehicle, a Mercedes SUV, a security guard stood in front of her and prevented her from leaving while Martel asked Satchel for his identification before asking him to go to his patrol.
Satchell then said he couldn’t because he wasn’t wearing shoes, which angered Martel, who then reached into the car before dragging and testing her.
A passenger in Satchell’s vehicle caught the incident on camera, and the video evidence appears to contradict much of Martel’s version of what happened that night. That video was released to investigators several weeks ago, who concluded that Martel’s arrest report contained several false statements. The officer had claimed that Satchell closed the window of his car with his hand and resisted the arrest by kicking before hitting him on the lip.
Martel, who is Hispanic, was fired last week after a complaint of excessive force in a March incident at a RaceTrac service station.
“I terminated the officers because the behavior was appalling and will not be tolerated in the department,” Miami Gardens Police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt said in a statement.
“As a result of Martel’s actions, Ms. Satchel suffered abrasions to her stomach due to tasers, bruises and abrasions on her arms, and bruises on her legs,” said Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “By filing these criminal charges today against former Miami Gardens officer Jordy Yanes Martel, we are saying that these actions are simply wrong.”
Douglas Hartman, an attorney representing Martel, said the charges are an overreaction and politically motivated as Fernández Rundle is running for reelection.
Martel’s arrest comes exactly a month after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minneapolis police custody, sparking a wave of protests over minority police brutality and racial inequality across the country. country.
2 Former Miami Gardens Police Officers Had Open Investigations Pending, Staff Files Show (WPLG-TV)
Miami Gardens police officer arrested after video shows him with a knee to a woman’s neck (Miami Herald)