Ex-officer charged with battery, official misconduct after video shows him Tasing a woman with his knee on her neck
A former police officer in Miami Gardens, Florida, has been charged with battery and official misconduct after video surfaced of him Tasing a woman while his knee was on her neck.
Jordy Yanes Martel, 30, of Hialeah, was arrested Thursday on four counts of battery and two counts of official misconduct by Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents, an agency news release states. He turned himself in at the FDLE’s Miami office.
Yanes Martel, who is free on bond, was fired last week from Miami Gardens Police Department, the news release states. It was not immediately clear whether he has a lawyer. CNN has reached out to him.
The charges stem from a January incident that the state authority began investigating June 11, it said, as nationwide protests seethed over the death of George Floyd after a Minneapolis officer knelt on his neck. The demonstrations prompted demands in several states for officials to revisit cases of police use of force, as well as new legislation to end the use of neck restraints.
Yanes Martel was working off-duty security on January 14 at a strip club when the club manager asked him to give a Black woman a trespass warning after she threw a tip at a waitress, according to the FDLE news release and the arrest affidavit.
As the woman tried to leave in her car, Yanes Martel approached her, told her she was “being trespassed,” and asked her to get out of her car and come to his police vehicle, the release states. When she refused, she offered to drive to his car, and the officer told her he would drive his car over.
The woman then is heard telling the officer, “My dad’s a police officer,” a short video provided to CNN by an attorney for the woman shows. He responds, “I don’t care.” She then says, “Whatever you want to do, pull me out the car, go ahead.”
Yanes Martel is seen in the video attempting to open her car door from outside before putting his hand in the vehicle and unlocking the car to open it. The woman grabs his hand and says, “Don’t reach in my car. Are you crazy? You can’t reach in my car.”
Yanes Martel then opens the car door, and someone unidentified says, “What are you doing?”
The video image then goes black, and the man believed to be filming — initially from the woman’s car’s passenger seat — is heard saying, “Why is you doing all that? Are you serious? On her neck though?”
The video image comes back up, and Yanes Martel can be seen with his knee on the woman’s neck as she lies face up, screaming.
He then Tases her twice as she screams, the video shows.
Another man then approaches the man recording the video and asks him to delete the footage. The video then ends.
Charges against the woman were dropped
Yanes Martel used his Taser on the woman twice on her stomach while he knelt on her neck as “officers had control over both of the victim’s arms,” the FDLE news release states.
“The victim suffered numerous cuts and bruises as well as abrasions on her stomach from the Taser,” it says.
Yanes Martel said in the arrest affidavit filed against the woman that she kicked and punched him when he pulled her out of the vehicle and that he Tased her when she refused to comply.
Charges against the woman were dropped this month.
Yanes Martel posted $6,000 bond Thursday after being booked into the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, FDLE spokeswoman Jessica Cary told CNN.
The woman is pleased action was taken against Yanes Martel, her attorney said in a statement.
“If you’re an officer that has broken policy or acted under color of law with a belief that Black Lives don’t Matter, times are a changin’,” 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.”
The charges, according to the prosecutor, “represent a basic lack of respect with what we believe can be proven as a misrepresentation of the facts leading to a violent arrest.”
“There is nothing innovative about recognizing that every member of our community deserves basic respect in their interactions with law enforcement,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in the FDLE news release. “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.”
Yanes Martel is the subject of another FDLE investigation, the news release states without providing more details.
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