Videotape Shows Camp Guards Hitting Teenager Who Later Died

PANAMA CITY, Fla., Feb. 17 (AP) A teenager who died a day after entering a juvenile-detention boot camp was kneed and hit by guards while being restrained the day before his death, a videotape released Friday showed.

The scenes from the tape outraged the parents of the boy, Martin L. Anderson, 14. Martin’s mother, Gina Jones, said the tape proved that the guards killed her son, despite a medical examiner’s ruling that he died from internal bleeding unrelated to the confrontation.

Martin, who entered the camp Jan. 5 because of a probation violation, complained of difficulty in breathing and collapsed during exercises that were part of the entry process. He died the next day at a hospital.

The Bay County Sheriff’s Department, which runs the camp, said Martin was restrained after he became uncooperative.
On the surveillance videotape, which lasts 80 minutes and has no sound, as many as nine guards can be seen restraining Martin. Guards kneed him and wrestled him to the ground, where he was repeatedly hit by one guard. He was limp throughout most of the videotape.

The videotape shows that a woman in a white coat was present while the guards restrained Martin and at one point used a stethoscope to check him. Near the end of the confrontation, guards appeared to become more concerned, and several began running in and out of the scene. Emergency medical personnel later arrived and took the boy away.

Dr. Charles Siebert, medical examiner for the district that includes Bay County, said the boy’s body had some bruises and abrasions, but he attributed them to efforts to resuscitate the youth. Dr. Siebert said Martin suffered internal bleeding because he had sickle cell trait, a disorder that caused his red blood cells to change shape and produce “a whole cascade of events” that led to hemorrhaging.

Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Martin’s family, expressed doubt that the sickle cell trait, if it existed, could cause such extensive damage to the teenager’s internal organs.

The Justice Department has said it will investigate the case, along with the F.B.I. Federal officials planned to focus on whether camp guards violated Martin’s rights through use of excessive force or indifference to serious medical need.

Keyword: Martin Lee Anderson

Source

(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
New York Times, USA
Feb. 18, 2006
www.nytimes.com
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Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday February 18, 2006.
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