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One Of NYPD's 11% In Action
Posted by Stephen Bauman on Fri Jul 31 19:56:58 2020Queens NYPD officer with history of misconduct complaints and lawsuits charged with evidence tampering
By ROCCO PARASCANDOLA, NOAH GOLDBERG and THOMAS TRACY
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS |
JUL 31, 2020 AT 4:40 PM
A Queens NYPD cop with an extensive history of misconduct complaints and lawsuits has now been busted on evidence tampering charges, authorities said Friday.
Police Officer Kevin Martin, a 14-year veteran of the NYPD, was arrested Thursday and charged with official misconduct and tampering with physical evidence.
A law enforcement source said Martin allegedly vouchered evidence on March 1, 2019 with his body camera off, then turned the camera on after to record the evidence — screwing up any chain of custody, the source said.
He was given a desk appearance ticket and is expected to answer the charges in Queens Criminal Court on Oct. 28, police said.
Martin joined the NYPD in 2006 and is currently assigned to the 109th Precinct in Flushing. An NYPD spokeswoman said the officer was suspended without pay.
Throughout his career, the CCRB has launched 33 abuse, discourtesy and excessive force investigations containing more than 80 allegations against Martin, who is considered one of ten most complained about officers in the department.
He’s also named in six civil lawsuits against the city, three of which have cost taxpayers more than $1.1 million in settlement claims, court documents show.
One of the CCRB investigations involved an improper vehicle search in Flushing on March 1, 2019 — the same day the alleged evidence tampering took place.
It was not immediately clear if the two incidents were connected. The CCRB investigation into the search stalled after the complainant became uncooperative, officials said.
Martin’s lawsuits usually involved false arrests, mostly for marijuana and low-level drug charges. In one federal case settled for $155,006, six different plaintiffs — including freelance TV reporter Francisco Zapata — argued that Martin and 11 other Bronx cops arrested them on bogus marijuana charges in 2011, claiming that the drugs were in plain sight.
Zapata claimed that Martin grabbed him off the street and threw him against the wall, refused to look at his press ID and elbowed him three times in the head as he recovered weed from the reporter’s shirt pocket.
“We got our first idiot of the night,” Martin told other cops upon arresting Zapata, according to court papers.
Another plaintiff, Carlos Nunez, claimed Martin slammed him into a vestibule and accused him of smoking pot even though no drugs were found during a strip search. The criminal charges were dismissed, but Nunez lost his job.
“Our client was a lovely guy. Martin really traumatized him,” attorney Katherine Rosenfeld told the Daily News, adding that Zapata still crosses the street each time he sees a cop.
A Queens District Attorney spokeswoman declined to comment on Martin’s Thursday arrest, saying that the details will be made available after he shows up in court.