Lawmakers Call for Closing of Boot Camps in Wake of Beating Death

The legislative black caucus is also calling for an investigation into the videotaped boot camp beating, leading to the death of a 14-year-old.

Florida’s black lawmakers want a Bay County boot camp closed until it has been thoroughly investigated by the Attorney General and the Human Rights Commission.

State Sen. Tony Hill says four recent juvenile justice incidents all involve African-American youth.

“Was a young man’s civil rights violated? But you want the camp closed?”

“Yeah, we want that camp closed.”


“Well, we want it closed until such time as we know the people are certified and qualified to do what they are doing,” Hill says.

Fourteen-year-old Martin Lee Anderson died within hours of arriving at the Bay County boot camp. The death was captured on videotape and lawmakers want that tape made public. Gov. Jeb Bush says he has not seen it, but wants the tape made public sooner than later.

“I believe FDLE has shown the tape, or plans to show the tape to the family out of respect for their situation. Legislators saw it,” Bush explains.

The attorneys for the family say no one has contacted them about viewing the tape. FDLE Chief Guy Tunnel says it won’t be released until his investigation is complete.

“We’re moving along with the case. We are waiting for some medical results. We anticipate finalization any day now,” says Tunnel.

In addition to the death of Martin Anderson, a disabled teenager was recently raped by a sex offender at a juvenile detention center where he was sent because the state had no treatment beds available for the youth.