NYPD veteran indicted on evidence tampering charges

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An NYPD cop has been indicted on evidence tampering charges for allegedly staging the discovery of a firearm during an arrest because it wasn’t recorded on his body-worn camera the first time, Queens prosecutors said Wednesday.

Officer Kevin Martin, a 16-year veteran of the department, is accused of re-enacting the gun find to use as evidence in a March 2019 criminal case, the Queen’s District Attorney’s Office said.

On a March afternoon in 2019, Martin and his partner arrested a Jeep driver for allegedly violating traffic laws, Katz said. Hours later, as they searched the car a second time outside a NYPD stationhouse, Martin told his partner he found a gun inside a shoe in the Jeep, prosecutors said.

Then, Martin went inside the precinct and returned with his body camera to reenact finding the gun in the shoe, prosecutors alleged. When police gave evidence to the district attorney’s office, they did not disclose the gun discovery was staged, prosecutors said.

“The alleged misconduct by an officer sworn to serve and protect undermines the mission of law enforcement. Public safety and accountability are not mutually exclusive – they go hand in hand,” Katz said. “It is more important now than ever to strengthen the people’s trust in the criminal justice system by holding people accountable for their actions.”

A Rockland County resident, Martin was first arrested in connection to this case in 2020. He faces four years in prison if convicted.

Throughout his career, Martin has been the subject of litigation and allegations of misconduct. Between 2007 and 2020, the NYPD oversight agency the Civilian Complaint Review Board substantiated 18 of 45 misconduct allegations, according to CCRB data made public by ProPublica.

Between 2011 and 2015, Martin was named in six lawsuits against the city, costing taxpayers more than $1 million total at least, according to data from the Legal Aid Society’s Cop Accountability Project.

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