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An officer with the New York Police Department has had vacation days taken away after being disciplined for wearing pro-Donald Trump patches at a rally protesting police brutality.
According to reports, Sergeant Dana Martillo received a punishment of 30 days of vacation stripped from her. The information was revealed in a newly-disclosed report covering the disciplinary action taken against her by the NYPD. Martillo was reportedly also suspended from duty after the investigation took place last year. That report also revealed that the officer defied an order from a superior to zip up her jacket and hide two offensive logo patches on her uniform.
The officer was one of several who responded to a protest that was held outside of the 84th Precinct in Brooklyn on Feb. 5, 2021. The demonstration was held to call for the firing of Artem Prusayev, an officer at the precinct who protesters alleged aimed a gun at them at a protest the previous month after they demanded him to wear a mask. At the rally, several noted that Martillo was wearing two patches on her uniform that are variations of the skull logo of the vigilante Marvel Comics character The Punisher, both sporting the signature hairstyle of Trump. One patch bore the slogan “Make Enforcement Great Again.”
Protesters called out Martillo for the patches, calling her a “domestic terrorist” and accusing her of taking part in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Martillo remained silent throughout, save for one moment when she pulled down her mask and blew a mocking kiss at someone off-camera. The Punisher logo, which has increasingly become a favorite of conservatives and members of law enforcement, has also been openly sported by the white supremacist group, the Proud Boys.
The encounter was captured on video and went viral through social media. Then-NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea issued a tweet in response at the time, writing: “Members of the NYPD must remain apolitical — it’s essential to public trust & officers’ ability to perform their jobs.”
The incident involving Martillo came after then-Commissioner Shea had signed an agreement with the Civilian Complaint Review Board regarding the NYPD’s new disciplinary matrix for those in its ranks found guilty of misconduct. The NYPD had been under fire for having a section of its rank-and-file members with the Police Benevolent Association formally endorsing Trump before the 2020 presidential election, which he lost.