Former Miami Gardens Police officer charged after pressing knee on woman’s neck during January arrest

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - After being fired last week, a former Miami Gardens Police officer is facing multiple charges after accusations of misconduct regarding an arrest where he was caught on video pressing his knee against a woman’s neck.

7News cameras captured Jordy Martel as he walked out of the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, Thursday night, after he bonded out.

He declined to comment on the charges he is facing or the incidents that led to his dismissal and arrest.

Martel was seen getting into the passenger side of a black pickup truck before leaving the premises.

Martel and another officer, Javier Castano, were terminated after a rough take down that was caught on camera at a RaceTrac gas station in March.

But it was an earlier incident in the parking lot of Tootsie’s Cabaret, a strip club in Miami Gardens, that led Martel to surrender to police Thursday morning.

News of the surrender was originally reported by The Miami Herald.

Martel, 30, was accused of pressing his knee into 32-year-old Safiya Satchell’s neck while working an off-duty security job at Tootsie’s, located at 150 NW 183rd St., Jan. 14.

At a news conference held Thursday afternoon, Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Martel is being charged with four counts of battery and two counts of official misconduct.

“Martel allegedly used excessive force by putting his knee on Ms. Satchell’s neck,” she said.

Officials said Satchell’s arrest took place following a confrontation with Tootsie’s staff.

Cellphone and body camera video of the incident were shown during the news conference.

Body camera video shows Satchell, who was pregnant at the time, being pulled from the vehicle, held on the ground with a knee to her neck. While she is being restrained, the footage shows her being shocked with a Taser twice.

“Why is your knee on her neck, though? That’s weird as [expletive],” a woman is heard saying in the cellphone video.

Before that happened, however, there was another violation, Fernandez Rundle said.

“We believe the video reflects that Martel was allegedly the aggressor when he went into Satchell’s car without any evidence that Satchell committed a crime,” she said.

“Whatever you want to do, pull me out the car, go ahead,” Satchell is heard saying in the cellphone video.

According to the officer’s arrest report, Satchell was resisting, but Fernandez Rundle said his report and what’s in the video don’t match up.

“As a result of Martel’s action, Ms. Satchell suffered abrasions to her stomach from the Taser, bruises and abrasions to the arms and bruises to her legs,” said Fernandez Rundle. “By filing these charges today … we are stating that these actions are just plain wrong.”

Jonathan Jordan, Satchell’s attorney, released a statement that read in part, “The days of shuffling aside these videos of police misconduct are soon behind us as a community and a nation. We are pleased to see swift action taken by the authorities against this former officer.”

Both Martel and Castano are under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

The cellphone video would have never been seen if the man who recorded it had followed a request by Tootsie’s staff to delete it.

“Can you please delete it, sir. Can you please delete it?” the employee is heard saying.

Miami Gardens Police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt called the officers’ behavior “egregious.”

All charges against Satchell were dropped, however.

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