2 former Miami Gardens police officers had open investigations pending, personnel files show

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Personnel files obtained by Local 10 for Jaiver Castano and Jordy Yanes Matel, the two Miami Gardens police officers fired over a beating that was caught on cell phone and surveillance video, shows they had prior open investigations.

Castano was hired in August of 2018, but a year later, the Professional Compliance Unit of Miami Gardens police launched an internal review of a simple battery/unwanted touching investigation. It remains an open case.

Yanes Martel was hired in October 2018. In February of this year, records show that he was being investigated by internal affairs for improper procedure following a crash in a patrol car he was driving.

The June 18 firings of the two police officers was over an excessive force complaint. Officers responded on March 21 to the RaceTrac gas station at 19100 NW 2nd Ave., in Miami Gardens over a complaint that someone was doing “doughnuts” in the parking lot.

“I terminated the officers because the behavior was egregious and will not be tolerated at the department,” Miami Gardens Police Chief Delma Noel-Pratt in a statement following their terminations.

Miguel McKay said he and his friends did nothing to provoke the officers that night.

“Yes, it was police brutality because of the way he came out and the way he addressed us. It was more like out of anger,” McKay said. “I’m still dealing with neck pain, back pain, knee pain. I’m dealing with a lot.”

They also punched and bashed out a window of McKay’s truck, he said.

One of the officers is accused of excessive force. The other officer is accused of covering it up by not downloading his bodycam footage, which is a requirement after every shift.

Both of the officers had been with Miami Gardens Police for less than two years. Records show that this was the first time for both in law enforcement. Castano had worked for retail store Toys R Us and also for a bail bondsmen. Yanes Martel was a mechanic.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating both Castano and Yanes Matel.

About the Author:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.