14-Year-Old Was Likely Beaten to Death
Martin Lee Anderson, 14, died a day after he was beaten and dragged by nine guards while in the custody of a juvenile boot camp in Florida. The medical examiner initially ruled that Martin died of natural causes, but after his parents watched a surveillance tape of the beating, they ordered the body exhumed and asked for a second autopsy, which negated the previous finding.
Martin Lee Anderson was sent to the Bay County Sheriff’s Office boot camp on Jan. 5 for a probation violation. A surveillance video showed guards kicking and punching him after he collapsed while exercising on his first day at the camp, and he died at a hospital early the next day.
The security video shows as many as nine guards kneeing, hitting and dragging Anderson around the exercise yard. The sheriff’s office has said the guards were trying to get Anderson to participate after he became uncooperative.
After seeing the videotape, the boy’s parents agreed to have his body exhumed. They asked Dr. Michael Baden, a noted pathologist who had reviewed medical evidence in the slaying of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., to observe the new autopsy.
The Bay County medical examiner initially concluded the teenager died from complications of sickle cell trait, a usually benign blood disorder.
The new autopsy was conducted Monday by Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Vernard Adams. Baden said it was clear the teen did not die from sickle cell trait, or from any other natural causes.