By John Annese
New York Daily News
NEW YORK >> An NYPD sergeant who wore pro-Trump “Punisher” logos on her uniform and blew kisses at demonstrators during a Black Lives Matter protest in Brooklyn has been docked 30 vacation days, the Daily News has learned.
Sgt. Dana Martillo defied a superior officer’s order to zip up her jacket and hide the logos before the Feb. 5, 2021, protest, according to a newly released disciplinary report.
Martillo was also suspended for 10 days in a decision approved by NYPD Commissioner Keechant Sewell on Sept. 16.
Martillo was caught on video wearing one with the Punisher skull logo with Trump-style hair, and a second with a similar image and the words, “Trump 2020″ and “Make Enforcement Great Again.″
Video from the demonstration in front of the 84th Precinct station house in downtown Brooklyn showed Martillo pull down her mask and blow a kiss at protesters, after they asked her whether she was at the Capitol on Jan. 6.
“I have to brush up on my First Amendment rights,” she told the protesters, later saying, “I didn’t know I was so photogenic,” according to the NYPD’s assistant deputy commissioner for trials, Paul Gamble.
At her departmental trial, Inspector Matthew Galvin testified that he pointed out the patches that day, and when she asked, “Am I going to get in trouble for it?” he responded,
“You’re not going to be in trouble. Just zip the jacket up,” according to Gamble’s report.
He testified that he considered that an order.
Martillo, meanwhile, testified that Galvin made no such order, instead telling her, “No, I like your patches.”
She also contended that the patches weren’t political because Trump was no longer a candidate on Feb. 5, 2021.
The kiss-blowing and remarks at the protest were an attempt to defuse a tense confrontation, she said at the trial.
Gamble dismissed her counterarguments, writing, “It is impossible for this department to maintain public trust if its members are perceived to be partisan while executing their official duties.”
He added, “Her decision to wear political patches at the demonstration invited the public to question her neutrality and the neutrality of those police officers who were under her authority.”
Martillo’s lawyer, Joe Murray, said he plans to appeal the ruling, and accused Gamble of “bias” and of putting his thumb on the scale of justice during the departmental trial.
Murray said Gamble refused to allow a polygraph test into evidence, and improperly dismissed testimony as not credible from another sergeant who didn’t hear Galvin give the order.
Murray also said the patches weren’t political, and pointed to the former president’s stationhouse on Sept. 11, 2021, as proof of a double standard at play.
“He was invited in by great fanfare and celebration by high-ranking members of the department. He was invited behind the desk to sign the book,” he said. “He’s a civilian who loves the police. … It’s permissible to celebrate Trump. He’s a civilian.”
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