Family Wants Second Opinion On Son's Cause Of Death
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 1, 2006
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA--The family of a teenager, who died January 6 after he was beaten by guards at a juvenile boot camp, has given the go ahead for a special prosecutor to exhume his body to determine the cause of death.
State Attorney Mark Ober of Tampa had asked for permission to do a second autopsy on the body of Martin Lee Anderson, 14.
Anderson's family members have said they do not believe Bay County medical examiner Dr. Charles Siebert, who declared that the boy died from internal bleeding caused by sickle cell trait, a normally dormant medical condition that occurs in about one in twelve blacks. Siebert also said the bruises and scrapes he found on Anderson's body were related to attempts to resuscitate him.
Last month, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement released an 80-minute surveillance videotape of the altercation between Anderson and guards at the boot camp. The tape shows as many as nine guards restraining the 140-pound Anderson, kneeing him to knock him down and striking him.
Officers said he failed to comply with their instructions when he complained of breathing trouble and collapsed during exercises on his second day in the program.
The Miami Herald and CNN had to sue to get the department to release the video.
The U.S. Justice Department is looking into possible civil rights violations.
"Family of teen who died at boot camp allows new autopsy" (Miami Herald)
"Boot Camps Exempt From 'Pain Compliance' Ban" (St. Petersburg Times)
"Polk Sheriff: No Abuse for Boot Camp Inmates" (The Ledger)
"State Doctor Questions Boot Camp Death Investigation" (Associated Press)
"Tape Shows Kneeing, Hitting" (The Ledger)