Anderson Tape Reaction

By: Jason Davis
By: Jason Davis

The video tape depicting the last few hours of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson's life continued circulating around Bay County this weekend.

Public opinion on the video is strong, and concerned residents of Bay County want their voices heard.

"It's ridiculous. Everybody has seen the tape. Now it's time for us to stand up as a people. We can't let this go."

Barbara Casey said, “I certainly don't want my tax paying dollars to go to programs like this. There's out of control teenagers, but they need help. I don't think this is a positive program."

Tangey West added, "It's terrible. I don't think anybody's child should have to go through that."

That's been the word on the street ever since the FDLE released a surveillance video chronicling the final hours of Martin Lee Anderson's life in a Bay County boot camp.

Signs of protest could be seen at the intersection of Martin Luther King Boulevard and 11th Street. Signs said "Stand for Martin Anderson" and asked the question, why so long? It was referring to the time period it took the staff at the boot camp to realize that Anderson was in need of some serious medical attention they feel could have prevented the 14-year-old's death.

Nora Byas said, "This tragedy should have never happened and certainly our leadership sees that and what ever can be done to fix the problem needs to be fixed right away so that this will never happen to any child."

Many people viewing the peaceful demonstration expressed the same concerns.

Elijah Black said, "They should have reacted a little bit faster than what they did. They contributed to the boy's death."

"I think that somebody should have stepped in said stop this mess now."

These folks say they won't stop until the people of Bay County unite and demand changes to the juvenile justice system.

"Let's not make this a race issue. Let's make this an American issue."

The local chapter of the NAACP has organized a town hall meeting to discuss the Anderson case, the boot camp and law enforcement practices in general.

The meeting has been moved to next Saturday at 1:00 at the Macedonia Baptist Church on Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard.


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