Mother of 11-year-old Apopka boy arrested: ‘I’m prepared to fight for justice for my son’

APOPKA, Fla. — The mother of an 11-year-old Apopka boy is demanding police officers become better trained to handle situations with children.

Officers briefly put her son in handcuffs and made him sit in the back of a squad car last week.

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The situation happened because of a stolen bike. Apopka Police Department said they responded to a robbery call, and police identified 11-year-old Jamir Bradford as the person who punched one person and stole the bike of another.

But according to the family, that is all wrong.

Video shows the family screaming for officers to let the boy go.

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His mom said her son was riding a bike in the neighborhood when a truck rode up, pointed him out and accused him of stealing a bike.

A few minuets later he got to the park, where she said police questioned him and ultimately put him in handcuffs.

After taking a closer look at the bike, officers let the boy go. There are no charges against the boy.

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His mom, Melani Brown, said her son still feels traumatized by what happened.

“I wasn’t prepared on Feb. 20, but I am today,” Brown said. “I’m prepared to fight for justice for my son.”

Under Florida law, it’s illegal for police to arrest anyone under 6 years old. Sen. Randolph Bracy originally tried to pass it for people 12 and under.

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An officer wrote in his report that he removed the cuffs from the child after about a minute.

Apopka police said they are conducting an administrative review of what happened, and they have no further comments at this time. Channel 9 has also requested body camera video of the officers involved.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.