Judge lets lawsuit against JSO over beating move forward

Officer was caught on video repeatedly striking Mayra Martinez in custody

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A federal judge has denied a motion by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office to toss a lawsuit filed by a woman who was beaten by an officer while she was handcuffed.

In allowing Mayra Martinez’s lawsuit to move forward, U.S. District Judge Harvey Schlesinger was critical of the Sheriff’s Office. Schlesinger cited ten incidents of excessive force by officers since 2004, saying they “illustrate that the city repeatedly took no corrective steps to remedy the officers’ actions.”

Martinez was the subject of an April 2016 trespass complaint at a Jacksonville strip club. A bystander’s dashboard camera was rolling as she was detained by police and subsequently beaten by now-former Officer Akinyemi Borisade, the same officer later caught on video striking Martinez in the jail’s sally port.

The incident led to the termination and arrest of Borisade. He later pleaded no contest and a judge withheld adjudication, keeping the incident off his permanent criminal record.

Through her attorney, John Phillips, Martinez later filed a lawsuit naming the city, Sheriff’s Office and Borisade as defendants. The suit has been tied up in legal back-and-forth ever since. But the judge’s ruling, issued Sept. 26, means her complaint will proceed.