I-TEAM: Woman beaten by JSO officer breaks silence
Officer fired after video showed him hitting Mayra Martinez in handcuffs
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jacksonville woman beaten by a rookie officer two weeks ago broke her silence Thursday in an interview with the News4Jax I-TEAM.
The sheriff fired Akinyemi Borisade after two cameras captured footage of him repeatedly striking Mayra Martinez while she was in handcuffs.
The disturbing videos made international headlines.
Borisade is facing a misdemeanor charge in the beating.
“I don’t think a misdemeanor is enough,” said Martinez, who is facing a third-degree felony for resisting arrest with violence. “Firing him, yeah good for you. I just kind of think they’re trying to cover their own.”
Her lawyer said his team is fighting to get the charges against Borisade upgraded.
Martinez told the I-TEAM that she is still in shock and processing what happened to her.
She's now recovering from a concussion and nerve damage and is dealing emotionally with what she called an embarrassing situation going viral.
“I am completely numb, my hands are numb. I get like, it's almost like electricity coming from my elbows and shoulders every once and awhile,” Martinez said.
Martinez continues to suffer aftershocks of the beatings, her wrists still bearing painful reminders where the handcuffs dug into her skin.
“I had a concussion. I was getting really bad dizzy spells, so I was throwing up and extremely nauseous,” Martinez said.
Photos show the bruises she suffered during the two beatings.
After two ER visits, Martinez has more MRI scans scheduled to track possible nerve damage. She's also still trying to understand what happened to her.
“I really don’t remember that much. It’s kind of like a blur,” Martinez said. “I got there. I had a drink. Then after that scuffling, and then me questioning why I was even arrested.”
Arrest at gentleman's club
A driver captured on video the beating during Martinez's arrest outside Scores gentleman's club.
The arrest report said she quit her job at the club on her first day and was drunk. The club kicked her out, then wanted her arrested for not leaving the parking lot.
Another video, which was released by the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, shows Martinez being struck repeatedly in the abdomen by the same officer at the jail until she passes out.
Martinez said the two days she spent in the jail after the beating were a haze.
“I was really disoriented and lost my perception of everything, so I was really confused,” she said. “I hardly remember anything. I just remember getting taken out of the cell, and they put me in a glass room, and two people came in and interrogated me about the situation. So, it was really confusing that they would pull me out like that and ask me questions when I was in that condition.”
Her lawyer said she'd already asked for an attorney at that point, so no one should have questioned her without her lawyer present.
Martinez said the officers who interviewed her were with JSO's integrity unit.
Aftermath of viral videos
Once released, she learned the videos of her beating had gone viral, piling on emotional scars to her physical wounds.
“I didn’t even know there were videos out until I was released (from jail). I had to find out on my own, and it was like, 'Oh my God, what happened?'” Martinez said. “I was definitely perceived incorrectly being at the gentleman’s club like that. Everybody has responsibilities. My first job and my passion is yoga. It really gives me purpose and everything, and I feel really bad because it’s even embarrassing to the yoga community, because it’s contradicting lifestyles.”
Martinez said that while she's grateful the videos exist as evidence, it's hard for her to know they're in the public eye.
“I’m glad there is a video, but it’s embarrassing. It’s really embarrassing,” she said, apologizing as she choked up during the interview. “I’m glad because the truth is out there, but at the same time, it’s not good for me. I don’t want that out there. Nobody would. I’m just dealing with it.”
Attorney Reid Hart, who is handling Martinez's criminal case, said he is looking for even more video.
“(I want to see) much more after the fact,” he said. “To find out when she was provided medical attention, when did paramedics arrive to the scene, what did they have to do to revive her? To show the inaction of the other officers. It's not just Officer Borisade, but the other officers at the scene certainly hold a responsibility for allowing that to happen and showing no concern whatsoever. It is concerning because it lends itself to questioning. How often does something like this happen if they're not shocked about this?”
Martinez said she has only two words for Borisade.
“Good luck; that’s all I can say,” she said.
Attorney considers civil rights lawsuit
Attorney John Phillips, who will handle any civil cases for Martinez, said he sees multiple cases that could stem from in the incidents, including a possible federal civil rights case.
Phillips said Martinez's civil rights were violated twice: once when she was beaten while handcuffed and again when other officers didn't render her aid or stop the beating.
“The second time the officers are standing around watching like it’s another TV show,” Martinez said. “Everyone was so cavalier about it afterward, too, like it happens all the time -- just fix your uniform and go back to reading your paper. It’s really inhumane.”
The video from the jail cuts off after Martinez falls to the ground.
“I want to know, as a citizen of this town, but also as a lawyer, how long she was unconscious,” Phillips said. “That's extremely important. You don't leave anybody there to sleep it off. Even boxers get woken up after they get knocked out. She's no boxer. She's a person who may have trespassed. That's another case for another day. But at worst case scenario, she may have outstayed her welcome, and she got beat to a pulp.”
The sheriff said he is investigating the actions of the other officers in the video. The state attorney's office is handling the criminal charges against Martinez.
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