Veteran Flushing cop indicted for alleged evidence tampering: DA

Flushing cop evidence tampering
A veteran cop assigned to the 109th Precinct in Flushing was indicted by a Queens grand jury for tampering with evidence for allegedly staging fake body-cam footage. (Photo via Flickr)

A veteran city cop working out of the 109th Precinct in Flushing was indicted by a Queens grand jury for tampering with evidence and other charges, according to Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz.

NYPD Police Officer Kevin Martin, 45, of Rockland County, was arraigned Wednesday before Queens Supreme Court Justice Toni Cimino on a two-count indictment charging him with tampering with evidence and official misconduct for an incident that occurred in March 2019.

Martin, who has 16 years on the job, failed to wear his body-worn camera during an arrest in which an illegal gun was recovered. In an effort to record the evidence afterward, the defendant allegedly re-enacted finding the firearm after attaching the required video recorder to his uniform.

According to the charges, Martin and his partner were on patrol at 4:20 p.m. on March 1, 2019, when they arrested a driver for allegedly violating traffic laws. The driver’s 2016 Jeep was seized and transported to an NYPD station house.

At around 4:50 p.m., Martin conducted a search of the seized vehicle that yielded no contraband. Later that evening, according to the charges, after 11:30 p.m. as officers were retrieving property from the Jeep, pursuant to an inventory search the defendant told his partner that he found a gun in a shoe that was inside the vehicle.

According to the charges, Martin went back inside the precinct and retrieved his body-worn camera, turned it on and then allegedly re-enacted finding the gun in the shoe inside the Jeep. The evidence was later presented to the district attorney’s office without disclosing that the body-worn camera footage of the recovery of the gun was staged.

An investigation was conducted by the NYPD’s Internal Affairs Bureau.

“The alleged misconduct by an officer sworn to preserve and protect undermines the mission of law enforcement,” Katz said. “Public safety and accountability are not mutually exclusive — they go hand in hand. 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.”

Justice Cimino set the defendant’s return date for Aug. 18. Martin now faces up to four years in prison if convicted.