Boot Camp Beating One Year Later

By: Ilyssa Trussel Email
By: Ilyssa Trussel Email

As the rain fell, so did the tears. The family of a 14-year-old boy brutally beaten at the Bay County Boot Camp laid a wreath at his gravesite.

"It's just so hard when you think about. There's so many reasons why Martin Anderson should have never been taken away from us. It’s just painful and they are still grieving a year later. It's an extremely painful time," said the family attorney, Ben Crump.

Boot camp cameras recorded the guards kneeing Martin Lee Anderson, throwing him to the ground and kneeling on his back. Anderson collapsed repeatedly until he was finally unable to stand. Ultimately, his limp body was carried out on a stretcher.

"I don't know how they get through the day. Everybody shares that same thought. They just can't imagine this happening to their child," said Crump.

Gov. Charlie Crist hopes no family will ever have to suffer the pain Anderson's parents are feeling.

"That's one of the saddest and most tragic cases that has ever occurred in our state," said Crist.

This week the governor named Tallahassee Police Chief Walt McNeil the new Department of Juvenile Justice secretary. The department is the very same agency that oversaw the old boot camp system.

"I just couldn't think of a better person to bring in," said Crist looking on at McNeil, who agreed the story will not be ignored.

"We're gonna do everything we can do in the Department of Juvenile Justice to prevent those kinds of things from occurring in the future."

After a short time in the hospital, Anderson was flown to another hospital in Pensacola. It was there that he died one year ago Saturday.


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