Jordy Yanes Martel, 30, surrendered for arrest on Thursday on charges of battery and official misconduct
A fired police officer in South Florida has been charged after video showed him kneeling on the neck of a black woman during an arrest in the parking lot of a strip club.
Jordy Yanes Martel, 30, surrendered for arrest on Thursday on charges of battery and official misconduct in connection with the January 14 incident at Tootsie’s Cabaret in Miami Gardens.
According to his police report, Yanes Martel was off-duty and working as security for Tootsie’s in his police uniform when he was asked to remove 33-year-old Safiya Satchell from the club for allegedly being abusive to staff, when an altercation ensued.
Disturbing bystander video released by the Miami-Dade State’s Attorney Office shows Yanes Martel with his knee on the neck of the woman as he stuns her with a Taser.
The incident occurred on January 14 at Tootsie’s Cabaret in Miami Gardens
Yanes Martel is being represented by the South Florida Benevolent Association, who stated that their concern that ‘recent nationwide events surrounding law enforcement played into today’s actions.
‘We look forward to seeing the actual evidence in order to determine the appropriate defense,’ the union said.
Yanes Martel had been on the Miami Gardens force for less than two years, and previously worked as a mechanic.
He was fired on June 18 over a separate incident in which he responded to a gas station on a complaint of someone doing ‘doughnuts’ in the parking lot, and was accused of excessive force when cell phone video appeared to show an officer beating a suspect.
In the January incident, Yanes Martel wrote in his police report that he had been asked by management to remove a woman from the strip club and told she was being abusive to staff.
Cell phone video shows Yanes Martel pulling the woman from a vehicle and a violent struggle, in which he is seen placing his knee on her neck
Yanes Martel is seen using his Taser against the woman’s stomach during the struggle
Satchell was being ‘disorderly and disrespectful toward the members of the staff.’ The manager wanted her to leave, according to the police report obtained by WPLG-TV.
The report said that Yanes Martel told the woman to get out of her vehicle in the parking lot so he could issue a warning for trespassing.
Yanes Martel stated in the report that he had given Satchell multiple verbal commands to step out of her black Mercedes SUV or ‘she would be arrested.’ She refused to comply, according to the report.
When he did get her out of the vehicle, he said he redirected her to the ground using a ‘leg sweep technique.’ She continue to kick and punch, he said.
Yanes Martel said the woman, ‘…purposely and maliciously…struck me on the right part of my lower lip with a closed fist ..(she) continued to fight officers by kicking and punching…’
That is when Yanes Martel said he told her to comply or she would be tased. ‘The defendant still refused to comply causing me to retrieve my department issued taser at which point I drive stunned her at least 2 times seeking compliance.’
After a short struggle and with the assistance of another officer, he said he was able to place Satchell in handcuffs.
The union representing Yanes Martel issued this statement in response to his arrest
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says the woman was ‘forcibly removed from her vehicle’ by Martel, who later knelt on her neck and used a stun gun on her. The department didn’t say how long the officer allegedly knelt on the woman’s neck.
‘The victim suffered numerous cuts and bruises as well as abrasions on her stomach,’ the FDLE report said.
‘It is so important that allegations of excessive use of force in law enforcement are fully investigated, not only for the betterment of the community, but also for those law enforcement officers dedicated to public service and helping others,’ said FDLE Miami Special Agent in Charge Troy Walker.
Added Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle: ‘We cannot, and will not, tolerate such actions in this community, just as we will not tolerate the victimization of the truth in our search for justice.’
The FDLE said Martel was being held on $6,000 bond in a Miami jail.