Father of two ‘felt like I was raped that day’ by city officer

In an interview this morning, Daryl A. Martin recounted the details of the April afternoon in 2006 when, he says, a Baltimore police officer stripped him of his dignity on a city street, performing a baseless cavity search on the football coach and father of two before two dozen onlookers.

“I felt like I was raped that day, like my manhood was gone,” Martin said quietly, pausing to collect himself. “I didn’t deserve this at all. I don’t think anyone deserves what I went through … I thought they were going to kill me.”

Martin, who has never been charged with a crime according to the Maryland court system, yesterday filed a $210 million civil lawsuit against several officers and the Baltimore City Police Department, alleging a pattern of civil rights violations, including falsifying charging documents, racial profiling and illegal searches and seizures.

Baltimore police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi declined to comment on the lawsuit or the allegations until a legal team has had sufficient time to review the court documents.

According to Martin, he was on his way to have a suit made April 26, 2006, when he says several officers pulled his car over for no clear reason and searched his vehicle. One officer, Shakil Moss, frisked Martin through his pants, grabbing his genitals and running his hands along his buttocks, making lewd comments.

“It was horrifying,” Martin said.

Moss then stripped Martin below the waist, donning a clear plastic glove and searching Martin’s rectum in front of a growing crowd of gawkers. The officers, part of the elite Special Enforcement Team, which has since been disbanded among allegations of professional misconduct, then sped away, chasing after a car playing loud music. Another lawsuit alleging similar infractions by the SET unit was filed last year.

“I think this group of officers randomly pulled over and searched dozens of people a day. If they found something, they altered the statement of charges to make [the search appear] constitutional. If they found nothing, they would send you on your way,” said Martin’s attorney, Steven D. Silverman.

Martin’s experience changed him forever, longtime friend Ryan Byers said.

“He’s not the same happy-go-lucky guy he always was,” Byers said. “Now he’s a little more defensive of everything. He questions how it happened. You ask questions about yourself, even though you’ve done nothing wrong. He’ll never forget it, but he has to learn to deal with it.”