In January 2019, Safiya Satchell, a pregnant Black woman, was tased and pinned to the ground by a Miami Gardens police officer during an arrest. The incident happened outside of a strip club called Tootsies Cabaret, in the early hours of January 14.
After 33-year-old Satchell was asked by the manager to leave the club following an argument over food, the manager asked Miami Gardens Police Officer Jordy Yanes Martel to issue a trespassing warning. Satchell had climbed into her Mercedes SUV to leave the club, when a security guard stood in front of her vehicle to block her from leaving. Then, Martel asked to see Satchell’s ID, before requesting that she come to his patrol car. Satchell refused, saying she wasn’t wearing any shoes. Martel then dragged Satchell from her vehicle before tasing her multiple times as she screamed.
A video, taken by a passenger in Satchell’s car, not only captured the encounter, but also proves Martel made false statements in his written account of the incident.
Martel claimed Satchell closed the car window on his hand, and kicked and punched him in the lip while resisting arrest. The video does not appear to show these events, and investigators have concluded that Martel lied in his report. The former officer initially arrested Satchell on charges of battery on a cop and resisting with violence. These charges have been dropped, and it is now Martel who faces charges that were filed after the video footage was turned over to investigators several weeks ago. Martel had already been fired following another excessive force allegation filed against him earlier in March. He has been charged with battery, and official misconduct for filing false reports.
“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 officer Jordy Yanes Martel, we are saying that these actions are just plain wrong.”
Martel’s attorney maintains that the charges are an overreation, and a politically motivated stunt to bolster Rundle’s election campaign.