A former Miami-area police officer was charged with battery and misconduct after he was videotaped putting his knee on a woman’s neck and using a stun gun on her outside a strip club in January, a Florida state attorney announced Thursday.
Jordy Yanes Martel, 30, turned himself in on Thursday and was initially held in lieu of $6,000 bail. Martel’s lawyer did not return an NBC News request for comment. Despite arrest documents being released in the case, the South Florida Police Benevolent Association said, “We are without the usual information provided regarding the arrest.” The association noted that Martel is presumed innocent.
Thursday’s allegations stem from a Jan. 14 incident outside a strip club in Miami Gardens, where victim Safiya Satchell, 33, had left unhappy with the service, according to the arrest affidavit for Martel. She was in her Mercedes SUV when she was contacted by the officer, according to the document.
A manager asked Martel, working security off-duty but still in a police uniform, to issue Satchell a trespassing warning because she threw a tip at a server on her way out of the club, the affidavit said. The warning means that if she returned she’d be trespassing.
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In cellphone and officer body camera footage released by the Miami-Dade County State Attorney’s Office, Martel orders Satchell to walk to his nearby patrol vehicle so he can write her a warning. She wanted to drive there because she had taken off her shoes.
The officer told her that she either walks to the vehicle or “I’m gonna get you out of the car.”
Satchell said her father is a police officer. Martel says, “I don’t care about that.”
She told the officer to “pull me out of the car,” and he did. She tried to prevent him from doing so, but the officer used a leg sweep to put Satchell on the ground, where Martel used an electric stun gun on her twice and placed a knee on her neck.
The victim’s friend, identified as Raheam Staats-Fleming, recorded cellphone video of the incident, during which he is told by a security guard, “Delete that.”
Satchell screamed with pain as she was hit with a stun gun.
The affidavit said she suffered abrasions and bruises. Martel’s own summary of the arrest said she was checked out at the scene by paramedics before being booked at a nearby police station. Charges against Satchell were later dropped.
Lawyer Jonathan Jordan, who represents Satchell, said in a statement, “It is long overdue for civilian oversight of our cities’ police departments to ensure our officers are not just serving but protecting our community. 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.”
In its arrest affidavit, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Martel lied on his arrest report, had no reason to arrest Satchell, didn’t inform her she was being arrested, and used excessive force. He faces four counts of official misconduct and two counts of battery.
“I’m here to affirm the chief’s decision to terminate him, because the the operative word is ‘former’ Miami Gardens police officer,” Mayor Oliver Gilbert said at a Thursday press conference announcing the charges, reported NBC 6 South Florida. “And to let everybody know that some things just aren’t gonna be acceptable.”
“We treat police officers no differently than anyone else,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle also said Thursday.