Students Stage Sit-In at Governor's Office

Anderson died January 6 after being beaten by guards at the Bay County Boot Camp. The students say the sit-in will continue until charges are brought.

Once an hour the students read a proclamation of their demands.

Ramon Alexander, FAMU student body president, says, “That the seven guards and the nurse shown in the videotape are arrested and held accountable for their actions.”

The students also want the medical examiner who said Martin Anderson died from sickle cell trait arrested, and his license revoked. They also question why it has taken more than a month to announce the findings of a second autopsy.

Gabriel Pendas, an FSU student, says, “How can we trust in due process when our government officials have taken steps to ensure the truth does not get out?”

Behind locked doors leading to Jeb Bush’s inner office, security remains ready. An emissary from the governor’s office met briefly with group leaders, offering a private meeting with Jeb Bush. When they asked for media to be present, the governor’s office refused.

Ramon Alexander says, “We’re here publicly and we want to have a public address so people can be publicly informed.”

Students talked on cell phones, read and worked on laptops. Final exams are next week, but Tara Stambeck says she and others are staying put.

Tara, a student, was asked, “No showers? No studying? No class? No finals?”

Her reply was, “Not until the demands are met. That’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make.”

It has been more than 105 days since Martin Lee Anderson died. Four students met with Jeb Bush behind closed doors late Wednesday afternoon, and then announced they would all be spending the night at the Capitol.

Several Democratic lawmakers also stopped by to bring water and snacks to the students.