Mom: 11-year-old handcuffed for bouncing basketball at JaxPAL gym

Woman says Jacksonville officer told her son didn't listen, ended up in cuffs

By Destiny McKeiver - Multi-media journalist

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A Jacksonville mom said an overzealous police officer trying to teach her son a lesson put the 11-year-old in handcuffs when he wouldn't stop bouncing a basketball after a JaxPAL game.

JaxPAL is the city's Police Athletic League, which sponsors a youth basketball league.

Bunmi Borisade said her son was dribbling a ball Saturday in the JaxPAL gym on West 33rd Street when an officer asked him repeatedly to stop.

She said she was in another part of the gym and didn't witness the incident.

“A little girl came up to me and said, 'Hey, excuse me. Your son is being arrested for dribbling a basketball.' I said, 'You can’t be serious,'” Borisade said.

Fatayi Jomoh, an honor roll student, was not arrested, but he now knows what it feels like to be in handcuffs.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office confirmed Borisade's complaint was received by Internal Affairs on Tuesday and that it is being reviewed. 

Borisade told JSO in her complaint that she believes the officer acted forcefully because she wasn't by her son's side. 

“The officer who handcuffed my son looked at me and said, 'He was being disrespectful,'” Borisade said. “I said, 'Well, why didn’t you come and tell me? I’m his mom.'”

She said she understands Fatayi might have been “acting out,” but he didn’t deserve to be handcuffed and is now afraid of police, which is the opposite of JaxPAL's mission statement.

The league claims its goal is to create “positive relationships between law enforcement officers and the youth of our community through educational, athletic and leadership programs.”

Borisade said her son's opinion of police officers is anything but positive now.

“It’s ruined (my image of police) as well. I’m not going to lie and put on a show for the news,” Borisade said.

In the meantime, Fatayi said he wishes the officer would have given him a second chance.

News4Jax requested comment from JaxPAL’s leadership staff, and we are waiting to hear back.

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