Florida’s black legislators are calling for the immediate arrest of everyone they believe was involved in the death of a 14-year-old at the Bay County Boot Camp.
The lawmakers and many others believe there’s been a cover-up, and they don’t think the public should have to wait months for those responsible to be arrested.
Fourteen-year-old Martin Anderson was re-buried this week after a second autopsy requested by his parents showed the first medical examiner was wrong. The boy did not die of natural causes.
Now Florida’s Black Legislative Caucus is demanding everyone connected with Martin’s death be arrested, including guards shown beating him at the Bay County Boot Camp, the nurse who did nothing to intervene, and man who is alleged to have botched the teen’s autopsy.
Sen. Gary Siplin told NewsChannel Seven, “There’s a lie by the coroner who says a person died because of sickle cell trait, which is outrageous for a state official to do that, so there’s plenty of evidence that there’s been a conspiracy and a cover-up.”
Lawmakers and many others believe there’s a larger problem here too, a Department of Juvenile Justice trying to break the sprits of young offenders rather than rehabilitate them.
Sen. Fredericka Wilson of Miami says, “It’s a culture that’s festering, and the culture believes that these children are throw-aways and they’re not even human.”
But Jeb Bush strongly defends his juvenile justice agency and his record. The governor says he’s concerned about Martin Anderson’s death, but he points out juvenile crime has dropped 18 percent since he took office seven years ago.
“This tragic case is something that we need to look at, investigate, and prosecute if appropriate. We’ll wait to see what the state attorney recommends in that regard, but it doesn’t mean we should get rid of a policy that has yielded a good result.”
Hillsborough County’s state attorney is conducting the independent investigation into Martin Anderson’s death. He agrees the boy did not die of natural causes, but has said his investigation could take several months.