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NYPD sergeant disciplined for wearing pro-Trump patches at BLM protest

Sgt. Dana Martillo was seen wearing a patch on her uniform of a Punisher skull with the former president’s signature blonde hair. Another similar patch had the words "Trump 2020" and "Make Enforcement Great Again."

November 28, 2022 4:40pm

Updated: November 29, 2022 9:14am

A New York City Police sergeant who wore pro-Trump memorabilia on her uniform at a 2021 Black Lives Matter protest last year was docked vacation days over the incident, according to a newly released disciplinary report.

Sgt. Dana Martillo was seen wearing a patch on her uniform of a Punisher skull with the former president’s signature blonde hair, according to images on social media from a Feb. 5, 2021 Brooklyn protest commemorating the birthday of Trayvon Martin, reports the New York Daily News.

Another patch had a similar image with the words “Trump 2020” and “Make Enforcement Great Again.”

According to the disciplinary report cited by the NY Daily News, Martillo defied a superior officer’s order to zip up her jacket and high the logos before the demonstration. She was suspended for 10 days in September and docked 30 vacation days.

NYPD policy bars officers on duty or in uniform from “publicly expressing personal views and opinions concerning the merits of any political party of candidate for public office.”

Martillo contended that the patches were not political because former President Donald Trump was no longer a candidate on Feb. 5, 2021. She also alleged the superior officer in the reported her superior did not order her to conceal them, instead telling her, “No, I like your patches.”

Martillo’s lawyer, Joe Murray, told the NY Daily News that he plans to appeal the ruling and accused the commissioner who handled the case of bias. According to the report, Murray said that the patches weren’t political and pointed to Trump’s highly publicized visit to a NYPD precinct on Sept. 11, 2021 as proof of a double standard.

“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.”

The president of the NYPD Sergeants Benevolent Association also defended Martillo when “an initial discipline” was announced in Feb. 2021, referencing when NYPD Chief Terence Monahan took a knee at a George Floyd protest in 2020.

“When the Chief of the Department sends an overtly political message by taking a knee with protestors while in full uniform and on duty, it sends a clear message to our membership that political speech is permitted. I do not believe that discipline of Sergeant Martillo is warranted or necessary,” said union president Ed Mullins.