JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman seen in a video being beaten while in handcuffs by a former Jacksonville police officer pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of trespassing and resisting arrest.
Late last month, Mayra Martinez was charged after she was asked to leave Scores Gentleman's Club on University Boulevard. She was taken down by police after refusing to leave the property.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office later released a video showing her arresting officer punching her repeatedly at the jail. According to a police report, Martinez was unresponsive for 15 minutes after the beating.
After Tuesday's arraignment hearing, Martinez said she is feeling much better, but is still recovering from her injuries.
She said she has heard about other jail beatings that have come to light recently, including video released last week of a teenager in handcuffs being knocked unconscious by a corrections officer in 2014. Martinez said she is not surprised, but she has not paid much attention to the other beating cases.
"Honestly, just for my own self-preservation, I have been staying away from watching any of the news stories and everything like that," Martinez said. "So, I'm just keeping in contact with my attorneys and they are letting me know the facts."
News4Jax has learned that the corrections officer involved in the 2014 incident, Dave Stevens, resigned in March after another incident that led to an internal affairs investigation.
Stevens did not give a reason for his resignation, but in his exit interview, he wrote his reason for leaving was a conflict with his school schedule and an unfair punishment. He said it was doubtful he would return to JSO.
A federal lawsuit has been filed about Stevens' case and will be heard next month.
Martinez's attorney, Reid Hart, said his team is gathering and reviewing evidence in her case. There is another civil rights violation case that is being prepared as well against the police department, he said. That will be filed at a later date.
Hart said it's possible other police beatings that have been in the news could play a role in the Martinez case.
“I can't predict the future obviously, but all that does play a part to the overall atmosphere of everything going on,” Hart said. “Certainly it's disappointing that everything seems to come in waves like that. But you know, we are obviously keeping our eyes and ears to the ground, keeping tabs on everything.”
Martinez said she is getting back to her normal routines, including yoga, and that her family in Orlando is supporting her.
“I just want to move on, move forward from the situation,” Martinez said. “Things are good.”
Martinez will be back in court June 15.
Police release full video of beating
The full video of the rookie officer hitting Martinez, 31, while she was handcuffed, was released earlier this month.
The sheriff fired officer Akinyemi Borisade after cameras captured footage of him repeatedly striking Martinez while she was in handcuffs just outside the jail.
The full video released by the Sheriff’s Office was more than two hours long.
About 1 hour and 7 minutes into the video, Martinez, who was charged with trespassing and resisting arrest, is brought into the sally port.
Fourteen minutes later, it appears Martinez is yelling at an officer.
Eleven minutes after that, Borisade walks over and shoves Martinez into a wall. She kicks him and then he punches her.
In the video, paramedics arrived 15 minutes later.
They tended to Martinez on the ground. She was not transported to the hospital.
After 10 minutes of tending to her, the paramedics walked away but remained in the sally port.
Thirteen minutes later, Martinez is seen against a trash can, trying to flip the lid with her feet.
Seconds later, she sat up on her own.
Less than 2 minutes after she sits up, she's led into the jail.
News4Jax also obtained video last month, which appears to be shot by a dashboard camera, taken in a parking lot in front of Scores, an adult club on University Boulevard at Philips Highway. According to the police report, they were called to the bar to escort Martinez from the property because she was drunk and belligerent after quitting work on her first day.
Martinez told the News4Jax I-TEAM that she's recovering from a concussion and nerve damage.
The sheriff said he is investigating the actions of the other officers in the video.