Florida Students Demand Justice

Students from Florida State, Florida A&M University, and Tallahassee Community College ended a two-day sit in at Gov. Jeb Bush office on April 21 after he met with the parents of a teenage boy that died after being beaten while in boot camp.

14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson died a day after the guards of the boot camp where videotaped beating, kicking and dragging him, according to BlackAmericaWeh.com

The students who met with Governor Bush on Wednesday demanded the arrest of the guards caught on tape and for the guards to publicly apologize to the child’s parents. The students demanded the release of the second autopsy and demanded that the license from the first medical examiner be revoked.

The first autopsy conducted by Dr. Charles Siabert said the child died of complications from sickle cell trait, a blood disorder usually prevalent among African-Americans. The second autopsy conducted by Dr. Vernard Adams, the district medical examiner in Tampa reported that sickle was not the primary cause of death. The details have not yet been released.

Siebert issued a statement a day after the sit-in saying, "I stand behind my findings."He added, however, that he welcomed "the opportunity to review the findings and conclusions of Gornthe second autopsy."

The same day the governor said he did not have the power to carry out all of their demands. “I appreciate their frustration because I’m frustrated as well. I told them the facts, told them the truth,” he said.

"Martin didn’t even have a chance," said the child’s mother, Gina Jones. "They picked on him so much, ’til they murdered my baby." The parents of Anderson have criticized officials saying there has been a cover-up of events leading to the death of their son.

“I really commend the students in Florida for their efforts,” said Whitney Threadcraft, a sophomore majoring in political science at Howard University. “I’m proud of them.”

Bay County juvenile camp has been shut down and the House Justice Appropriations committee wants to replace camps statewide with residential programs. There is also an investigation of possible civil rights violations in this case.