Fourteen-Year-Old's Death Drawing National Attention

Gov. Jeb Bush says there are still too many unanswered questions about the death of a teenager in a Panama City Boot Camp.

The youth, who had only been in the facility for two hours, was rushed to a hospital when he collapsed during exercise.

Bush says he is waiting on more reports before pointing fingers.

“We still have questions, questions on the autopsy, and questions on the procedures. There’s an inspector general’s report. FDLE is looking at it. And the autopsy, I don’t think the final report on the autopsy is done, so I’m still waiting for all those.”

The governor says the program should at least be reviewed.

“I think all of our programs ought to be under review, and that is the appropriate job of the Legislature. Based on the reports I saw on the chairman of the Juvenile Justice committee, that’s what’s going to happen, and I think that’s appropriate.”

At least one south Florida lawmaker has some harsh words for juvenile boot camps in the wake of the death of a 14-year-old in Panama City.

House Criminal Justice Appropriations Committee Chair Gus Barreiro says the six boot camps in Florida should be shut down because they’re not working.

Miami Beach Rep. Dan Gelber says lawmakers want answers.

“When the state starts taking people into custody, and they die within minutes, that’s obviously something that’s unacceptable, so I would urge the secretary, the entire department, to not just investigate, but to really open up everything, make it as transparent as possible. This is not a time to circle the wagons. It’s a time to let it out there so people can see what’s going on. We have to make an informed decision about whether or not these boot camps make sense, whether they’re working, whether they’re worth the investment.”

Fourteen-year-old Martin Lee Anderson’s Panama City family alleges he was abused at the boot camp. The state is still awaiting autopsy results.

The case is attracting national attention.


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