Confidentiality in Question at Florida State Capitol

Legislation pending at the Capitol could keep tapes of future incidents out of the public view.

The images are shocking; a knee to the thigh or groin, a take-down, an unresponsive teenager kneed in the back. If state lawmakers have their way, future tapes of such crime scenes would be barred from being released to the public. The lawyer for Martin Lee Anderson’s family says without the tape there would only be cover-up.

Benjamin Crump, the Anderson family attorney, says, “It would have been just another black child dead and nobody would have pushed any farther. Nobody would have said let’s reexamine this and make sure.”

Before this tape was made public, the medical examiner ruled that the death was due to a blood disorder and not the beating.

On top of questions about the medical examiner, state investigators have been removed from the case for sending sympathetic e-mails to those being investigated. Without the tape, First Amendment Foundation President Barbara Peterson says the public would be in the dark.

Barbara Peterson says, “We have in the boot camp case a flawed medical examiner’s report; no access to the autopsy photo. We would not have any clue as to what really happened with this poor boy.”

Sponsors say the legislation designed to protect the family of future victims, but without visual evidence, opponents of the legislation say we might never know who’s being victimized.

Organizers are planning a march on the Capitol next Friday to protest what they say is a lack of movement in the case that is still under investigation.


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