Saturday, October 13, 2007

Yeah-Like We Didn't Know The Ending To This Story!!

I remember when I first heard this story. I thought it was tragic the way this young man died. On top of that, it was videotaped. Surely, the guards would be dealt with...right? Wrong. I do not believe (my opinion) it's a racial issue, cuz this has happened to non-black children as well. It's an abuse of authority issue.
"You kill a dog, you go to jail. You kill a black boy and nothing happens."
-Gina Jones, mother of Martin Lee Anderson (AP)
Jury Acquits Eight in Boot Camp Death
credits: AOL News, AP

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (Oct. 13) - Residents in the hometown of a black 14-year-old who died after a videotaped altercation with juvenile boot camp guards, gathered at a local church Friday and shared anger that eight people accussed of killing the boy were acquitted by an all-white jury.

"In this country we are spending millions of dollars to fight wars that we say are to bring human rights and justice to other countries, but we don't have those things right here," said Bob Clark, a Panama City resident who helped organize the church vigil.

Florida State Attorney's Office, AP Video from Jan. 5, 2006, shows Martin Lee Anderson after being hit and kicked by guards at a juvenile boot camp in Florida. Seven ex-guards and a nurse were acquitted on Friday of manslaughter in his death.

On another side of town, many people hadn't heard news of the acquittals hours after the verdict was delivered. Others said they were interested, but not concerned that the seven guards and a nurse from the now-closed Bay County Juvenile Boot Camp were acquitted.

Chris Witts, who ate lunch outside on a sunny afternoon with friend, David Park, said he followed the case on television.

"I feel it's sad the kid died, but they didn't have the proof about what killed him," Witts said.

Park, who has lived in Panama City for more than 30 years, said he doubted the verdict, while unpopular with some in the conservative, southern, town, would lead to major demonstrations because two of the guards of the guards are black.

"From what I've heard, it (the boy's death ) was not something that could have been prevented," he said.

Defense attorneys argued that the guards properly handled what they thought was a juvenile offender faking illness to avoid exercising on his first day in the camp . They said Anderson's death was unavoidable because he had undiagnosed sickle cell trait, a usually harmless blood disorder that can hinder blood cells' ability to carry oxygen during physical stress.

Prosecutors said the defendants suffocated Anderson by covering his mouth and forcing him to inhale ammonia during the 30 encounter in which they kneed and hit Anderson and dragged him around the exercise yard.

Gerald Bryant was among those who gathered Friday at the church in Anderson's former neighborhood.

During the trial, defense attorney Waylon Graham told jurors that "agitators" from outside of Bay County had protested the results of an initial autopsy that found Anderson died of sickle cell trait.

"Agitators is the term they used for the civil rights marchers back in the 60s. Calling us agitators, that is a racist term to say that we are agitators," Bryant, who lives in Panama City, said.

And Bryant said he wanted the acquitted defendants to know one thing - "this isn't over."

Those who gathered at the church said they would organize marches, rallies and push for the eight to be indicted on federal civil rights charges.

"This trial never should have been held in Panama City in the first place," said Summer Tunner, who was at the church. "This community is going to come together and push this thing further."
I mean, how many times have we heard of stories such as this?
Poor person, abused by authorities.
Abuse documented on tape.
Abuse is undeniable.
Authorities are acquitted.
Although the courts ruled in favor of the accused, I hope that Martin's parents
will be able to forgive and move on.
Better yet, use this as a stepping stone to create an organization, a support group,
or make changes in legislation. Maybe name a bill after Martin.
God is able.
You Better Recognize.

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Please know...threats of hell and bible scriptures are futile-look at your church if you don't believe me! Get your 'body of christ' in order and then come talk to me.

Yours in Reason, Bria :)