NYPD Officer Goes to Court After Being Punished for Trump Patch, Leaves Judge 'Speechless'
A 15-year veteran of the New York City Police Department is suing the NYPD, seeking to overturn 40 days of pay she lost as punishment for wearing a pro-Trump patch on her jacket at a Black Lives Matter protest back in 2021.
In a lawsuit filed Tuesday with the Manhattan Supreme Court and viewed by the New York Post, Sgt. Dana Martillo accused the NYPD of “dishonesty, political bias, and bad faith” in selectively punishing her for wearing a “Make Law Enforcement Great Again” patch bearing a cartoon caricature of former President Donald Trump.
She pointed out that other cops who expressed liberal political views — including kneeling in support of Black Lives Matter — went unpunished while she was targeted for being a Trump supporter, according to the Post.
In her lawsuit, Martillo said she never expected “the level of dishonesty, political bias, and bad faith that would so infect this entire administrative disciplinary process, due to the total control that the mayor as chief executive has over the New York City Police Department, and the ‘Kangaroo court’ in which [she] was forced to mount her defense to these trumped-up charges (pardon the pun).”
At an administrative trial in May, Martillo was found guilty of all four charges she faced, including wearing an unauthorized patch and expressing personal political beliefs on duty.
Accordingly, she was suspended for 10 days and lost 30 vacation days over the incident, resulting in a total of 40 days of lost wages.
But the punishment didn’t end there. In November, Martillo — who has been with the NYPD since 2008 — was placed on performance monitoring.
In the lawsuit she filed this week, she said her administrative trial was unfair because the judge who oversaw it was biased.
“It was funny, because the judge had asked me if he thought — or if I thought, rather — my actions were appropriate,” Martillo told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends” on Thursday. “I looked at him and I said, ‘I don’t think they were inappropriate.’
“He asked me to elaborate, and I explained if it was an American flag, a Dominican flag or an LGBT patch, no one would have cared or said anything … I believe it left him speechless.”
NYPD officer goes to court over punishment for Trump patch, says she left judge ‘speechless’ | Fox News https://t.co/RF793HRWqF
— Todd Piro (@ToddPiro) January 26, 2023
Martillo’s attorney — former police officer Joseph W. Murray — noted that while the NYPD expects its officers to remain apolitical, it does not enforce this policy against liberals.
“The former chief of department, Terence Monahan, got down on his knees holding hands with other protesters at a Black Lives Matter protest and that was OK. That was acceptable,” Murray told Fox & Friends.
“There were other chiefs that were also, and high-ranking officials, who really — I think this came from [then-]Mayor [Bill] de Blasio, to bow down and kneel down on the floor at the foot of these protests.”
“That’s OK. But God forbid somebody wear something that’s even related to Donald Trump, and they crucify you,” he pointed out.
NYPD Chief of Department kneels in solidarity with George Floyd protesters https://t.co/YT5s4hykBW pic.twitter.com/n9evjczcTy
— New York Post (@nypost) June 2, 2020
I’m the biggest fan of the NYPD, and I will always support them. But this is a wall of shame
Don’t ever kneel to the mob, only to God. pic.twitter.com/pWbGHZkJYS
— Joel Fischer 🇺🇸 (@realJoelFischer) July 5, 2020
Rainbow NYPD car joins #NYCpride. Signs: “#NYPDOutAndProud” & “Our heart goes out to #Orlando.” Shoutout to @GOALny pic.twitter.com/eJ9a6iW8Q2
— Mondokoosh (@mondokoosh) June 29, 2016
Murray underscored that police officers also have the First Amendment right to free speech that deserves legal protection.
“That’s the sad thing, that this country, we are going down a path that is very dangerous,” he said. “They pick and choose what to enforce and who to enforce it against.”
Hopefully, Martillo will prevail in her lawsuit.
The issue isn’t whether she should’ve been allowed to wear a jacket patch.
It’s the selective enforcement of department policies and the one-sided political persecution of conservatives that is unfair and outrageous.
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