Leaders from two of the nations’ largest civil rights groups were in Panama City demanding answers in the case of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson.
Anderson died on January 5, the day after his first day at the Bay County juvenile boot camp.
Civil rights leaders, the family of Martin Lee Anderson and the Anderson's attorney addressed the public Saturday.
Benjamin Crump, the Anderson family attorney, said, “Silence is betrayal. If we remain quiet then Martin Lee Anderson's death was in vain.”
The NAACP, the Push Rainbow Coalition and the ACLU urged the public to demand justice for Martin Anderson and make change in what they call a "flawed" juvenile justice system.
Adora Obi Nweze, Florida NAACP President, says, "Now the sheriff and those are playing games. I just want you'll to know that. They have sent to the state to cut the contract with the boot camp and then they come out and talk about building their own booty camp. A rose by any other rose smells the same."
The civil rights organizations are leading the charge in investigating possible civil rights violations in the Anderson case.
Anderson's parents also expressed their unhappiness with the way the issue has been handled, from the officers at the boot camp to the nurse on staff.
Gina Jones, Martin Anderson's mother, says, “I hate her. She stood and watched my baby get abused and tortured by all those guys.”
Representatives from the Sickle Cell Association of America were also on hand to refute the medical examiner's findings that state Anderson died from sickle cell trait.
Sharon Faggins of the Sickle Cell Association says, “It would have to be under extreme circumstances. There is no way anybody can convince me otherwise. I live with the disease. My children all have the trait.”
Anderson's body will mostly be exhumed for re-examination.
The civil rights organizations attending the meeting say they plan to organize a march in the near future. Esse Jackson Organizations and the Rainbow Push Coalition say he also plans to make a visit to Bay County.