Officer Jordy Yanes Martel of the Miami Gardens Police Department (located within Miami-Dade County) has been charged with four counts of battery and two counts of official misconduct. Those charges stem from a case in which he pulled a pregnant woman out of her car, threw her to the ground, held her down with his knee on her neck, and then proceeded to tase her in the stomach twice.
This attack by Officer Martel against Safiya Satchell resulted from a dispute over the quality of service at Tootsie’s Cabaret, a Miami-area strip club. A manager at the club escalated the situation from a potential bad Yelp review to an illegal assault by asking Martel, who was moonlighting as a security guard, to issue a trespass warning to Satchell as she was leaving. Although Martel had no legal right to detain her, he proceeded to order Satchell to get out of her own car and walk to his car, so he could trespass her from the property.
The video below, which includes partial bodycam footage, along with cell phone video recorded by Satchell’s friend Raheam “Remy” Staats-Flemming, who was in the car with her, shows what happened next:
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 because she was not wearing shoes. When Satchell stated that her father’s a police officer, Martel said he didn’t care.
“Get your shoes on and come with me,” he said.
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.
“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 she did not lose the child as a result of the tasing, reports Forbes.
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.
As stated previously and within the excerpt, Officer Martel had no actual legal justification to detain her in the first place. So, therefore, he obviously didn’t have a right to pull her out of the car, practice his Karate Kid-esque takedown technique on her, and then follow-up with every cops’ favorite deadly tactic of placing their knee on people’s neck, either. Beyond that, tasering her was pretty clearly not necessary while both her arms were being held by Martel and Sgt. Arthur King, the Good Cop who obviously had no issue with what his Bad Apple counterpart was doing. (Incidentally, we can argue about how much evidence they have had in previous cases of police abuse – or we could just point to the video of Daniel Shaver being murdered and about a dozen others to definitively end that argument.)
Previous History of Complaints and Excessive Force
In an interesting twist, Officer Martel was actually not fired for this particular incident. As a matter of fact, he was fired a week prior to the charges relating to Satchell’s case being filed, as the result of a previous excessive force investigation. Officer Martel, along with his partner Officer Javier Castano, were accused of assaulting a witness during an arrest in that case. While it shouldn’t really be surprising if you’ve been paying any attention to the history of cops who eventually end up being caught blatantly abusing (or even killing) someone, Officer Martel is currently facing three separate investigations, including the one that resulted in these charges.
In addition, Officer Castano, who was also fired, was reportedly being investigated for two previous complaints at the time, as well. Both Martel and Castano had been hired less than two years prior being terminated. The video below, which is from a news report of their firing, details those previous complaints:
In response to the filing of the charges against Martel, Satchell’s lawyer, Jonathan Jordan stated. “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.”
And indeed, maybe they have. After decades (if not centuries) of police department internal “investigations” resulting in cops being exonerated and then sent back out onto our streets to abuse and/or kill again, regardless of the mounds of evidence showing their misconduct, there’s a sudden trend developing of “Bad Apples” being fired and even arrested for their blatant acts of violence. It remains to be seen if cops are just hoping that things will settle down and they can get back to their usual Mob mentality (and whether the public will allow it). However, it’s rather interesting what happens when they actually think we might just burn everything down.
Kelly is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes.
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