5 Year Anniversary of Martin Lee Anderson's Death

It was five years ago today (1-06) that 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson died. His death followed a brutal beating by guards at the Bay County Boot Camp just the day before.

Image from video released Wednesday, March 14, 2007, by the Florida State Attorney's Office in Tampa, Fla., shows boot camp guards manhandling 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson, who later died. (AP)

Updated 1/6 6:20pm

The legal battle involving the family of Martin Lee Anderson is almost over.

The 14 year old died soon after he was beaten by guards at a Panama City boot camp.

But, the emotional scars on the family remain five years later.

"This day is always an especially difficult day for Martin Lee Anderson's family." Said Anderson's Family Attorney Benjamin Crump.

On January 6, 2006, 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson died.

Videotape shows seven guards at the Bay County Boot Camp in Panama City, Florida kneeing, kicking, and hitting him the day before.

Crump said, "No one that you talk to, even though it's been five years since the tragedy, isn't just frozen in contemplation of a life lost at such a young age and what that life could've become."

A medical examiner said Anderson died of Sickle Cell trait.

But, a second autopsy revealed the teenager did not die from natural causes.

In 2007, the guards and a nurse standing nearby watching the beating were all acquitted of manslaughter.

Crump says the small victories in Anderson's death are how the community came together; including young people like Michael White who was in high school in Sarasota in 2006.

White said, "At my school, they made us stay abreast of the case and know what's going on. At the time, that was five years ago, he was around the same age I was. So, it really affected me and a lot of other young black people around me."

The community togetherness was displayed through several marches and rallies over the past five years.

FAMU Student Erick Ramsey said, "Only through unity that we can go through this. People just ask why too much. i just feel like we need to start asking when. We need to start making decisions on how we're going to improve as a community."

In May 2007, Anderson's family received a $5 million settlement from the state of Florida.

That Bay County Boot Camp is closed and the land and facility now belongs to Bay County.

The following is a list of other changes provided by The Florida Department of Juvenile Justice:

· The Legislature closed all DJJ boot camps.

· Protective Action Response, which governs the use of verbal and physical intervention techniques, was written into statute (section 985.645, F.S.).

· The use of chemical agents and/or ammonia capsules are specifically prohibit unless required for medical treatment by a licensed medical professional.

· Medical and mental health screening was modified to specify “Sickle Cell Disease” separately from “Sickle Cell Trait,” and the medical records of every youth with a history of sickle cell trait or sickle cell disease who is referred to a DJJ facility are reviewed by the DJJ Office of Health Services for appropriate medical placement.

· Youths with sickle cell trait and sickle cell disease are prohibited from intensive exercise in all DJJ programs.

· The Office of Health Services reviews incidents reported to the DJJ Central Communications Center which involve youth injury or illness.

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The attorney for the family of the 14-year-old boy who died after a beating at a Panama City boot camp says the federal investigation is still ongoing. The pain, he says, hurts even now, five years later.

It was five years ago Thursday that 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson died. His death followed a brutal beating by guards at the Bay County Boot Camp just the day before.

Videotape of the January 5th, 2006 beating showed guards kneeing, kicking, and beating Anderson.

A medical examiner originally said the teenager died of Sickle Cell trait, but after Anderson's body was exhumed, a second autopsy revealed he did not die of natural causes.

Anderson's family attorney, Benjamin Crump, says the boy's parents will never forget what happened.

"Nobody was ever held accountable for the death of their son. It's one of those things even though five years have passed, every time this time of year comes around, it seems like it was yesterday," Crump said.

Seven guards and a nurse who stood by, seen in the videotaped incident, were all acquitted of manslaughter back in October 2007.

In May of 2007, Anderson's parents received a $5 million settlement from the State of Florida, but Crump said there is nothing that can replace their son.


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  • by tlh on Jan 7, 2011 at 09:24 AM
    Put MLA and this story to rest. Same with Rachel Hoffman. How come we don't hear year after year of the inncocent people who die? thsoe that are do gooders or normal folk. But those invovled in the criminal justice system, we hear about year after year? It is tiring.
  • by Concerned Location: Tallahassee on Jan 7, 2011 at 06:45 AM
    How can a reporter keep bring this up in our news media and proclaiming the verdict of "death by beating". If you had seen the entire film of what happened that day, you would know the truth. I saw that film and there was no doubt in my mind. He was not beat. Money and slick lawyers are responsible for this continually being brought to surface. LET IT GO!
  • by CONCERNED Location: TALLY on Jan 7, 2011 at 06:44 AM
    THERE ARE NO PERFECT KIDS OUT THERE YOU CAN TEACH YOUR CHILD TO BE THE BEST CHILD IN THE WORLD, BUT YOU CAN WATCH THEM 24/7, SO DON'T BLAME THE PARENTS, AND FOR SOME OF YOU (JA) THAT THINK YOU HAVE PERFECT KIDS, IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN YOUR CHILD IN THE CAMP, BUT OH I FORGOT IF IT HAD BEEN SOME OF YOU GUYS KIDS, THEY WOULD HAVE THROWN AWAY THE KEY, IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN, I USE TO WORK IN THE SYSTEM, THERE ARE DIFFERENT GUIDELINES TRUST ME.
  • by SEB on Jan 7, 2011 at 05:17 AM
    OMG...are you all serious? THE "PARENTS" of this child did not care about him until after he was deceased so they could get money. I personally feel that if Grandma is the one that raised him then any and all money should have went to her. This child was NOT a saint or else he would not have been in a boot campl TO those that say it was because of his surroundings and influences...BS! If he would have had parents that give a rip about him, they would have known his surroundings and done something to change it BEFORE him getting in trouble and going to boot camp! Open the boot camps back up and REGARDLESS OF RACE....make the punks pay for their crimes! I believe the second person doing the autopsy was paid to say it was from him being beaten....he had sickle cell...that was his life taker!
  • by JMc Location: Tallahassee on Jan 7, 2011 at 04:25 AM
    The more you stir crap, the more it stinks. Let it go.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 7, 2011 at 03:45 AM
    MOM did not care about him ,,sent him to live with G/ma,, but she sure does care about the 5 m. dollars..
  • by Surprise Location: leon county on Jan 7, 2011 at 03:39 AM
    But its not about the money / Att. Ben Crump yeah right. (sad) "It takes a Village to raise a Super Predator."
  • by Kathy Location: Crawfordville on Jan 7, 2011 at 03:03 AM
    People you seem to forget that a trouble child has died at the hands of guards and a stupid nurse that just watched. Let Martin Rest In Peace. I don't care if you are white or black remember that a child has died,let it go.
  • by Dee Location: Tallahassee on Jan 6, 2011 at 07:58 PM
    Of course no one but TIR brings up race. Yes, Tallahassee certainly IS racist - many blacks have chips on their shoulders for God knows what. IT IS WHAT IT IS. A chip on your shoulder isn't going to get you anywhere BTW.
  • by vic Location: tallahassee on Jan 6, 2011 at 07:41 PM
    typical liberal article. looks overlook the fact that he did not die from a brutal beating. if it was so brutal then there would have been broken bones and severe bruises. none. the so called parents only raised their ugly heads when there was money involved due to his death. they did not care for him prior to that date and time.
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