Family and friends remember Martin Lee Anderson on his 30th birthday

Remembering Martin Lee Anderson
Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 10:48 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn


In 2006, Martin Lee Anderson, 14, was in the Bay County Sheriff’s juvenile boot camp.

During his time at the camp, Anderson was forced to run track. It was after one particular run, he suddenly collapsed.

Soon after, seven deputies were seen on camera holding Anderson down while a nurse watched.

He was then taken to a hospital in Pensacola, where he died the next day, shortly before his 15th birthday.

His death gained national attention.

A year later, the deputies and nurse were all acquitted.

However, Anderson’s death resulted in the closure of all Florida boot camps.

15 years later, Anderson’s family and friends are remembering his name.

“We want people now, as they say Trayvon Martin, as they say George Floyd, all these names, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, we want them to say Martin Lee Anderson,” said Gregory Dossie.

Sunday at Redwood Cemetery, friends and family gathered to celebrate Anderson’s life, as he would have turned 30 years old this year.

Anderson’s mother said she relies on faith and strength to get through each day.

“As the years go by, it’s getting a little easier for me, so I do feel growth and strength but, at first, you know, I don’t do birthdays and holidays, not really, due to my sons no longer here. Holidays are just not the same without your loved ones,” said Gina Williams.

Anderson’s case was one of the first to be represented by attorney Benjamin Crump, leading to his career fighting racial injustice.

Bay County NAACP president Dr. Rufus Wood said he hopes cases like Anderson’s unite people to demand equality.

“This is a time when we all need to stand together and say we’re not going to tolerate injustice, Dr. King said injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere, so if we stand by and let it happen to one child, it can happen to any child,” said Wood.

Anderson has two nephews, one who is named after him.

Copyright 2021 WJHG. All rights reserved.