June 26, 2020 / 5:28 AM / 13 days ago

Fired Miami Gardens police officer charged for putting knee on Black woman's neck

(Reuters) - A former Miami Gardens police officer was charged on Thursday with battery and misconduct after a video surfaced showing him pressing his knee on a Black woman’s neck and tasing her stomach, while she kept screaming, U.S. media reports said.

Jordi Martel, 30, was charged with official misconduct for filing two reports with false details about the incident that took place outside a striptease club on Jan. 14, State Attorney Katherine Rundle told a press conference.

Martel and another officer, Jaiver Castano, were fired last week, although Miami Gardens Police Department has not said why they were dismissed, according to the Miami Herald newspaper.

The video of the incident, filmed by a bystander, showed Martel dragging Safiya Satchell, 33, out of her car and subsequently forcing her down on a grass verge by the roadside.

The video clip showed Martel stunned her twice with a Taser, a weapon that delivers an electric shock. Another officer held Satchell’s arm as she struggled to free herself.

The United States is witnessing widespread protests against racism and police brutality since last month’s death of a Black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis police custody after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

(Corrects headline and lede to clarify former police officer is from Miami Gardens)

Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore

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