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Suing the Boot Camp Guards

October 27th, 2006 by flanews

The parents of a teenager who died after a beating at a juvenile boot camp in North Florida are asking a federal judge to let them sue the deputies responsible for that beating. 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson died in January… just one day after being admitted to the Bay County Boot Camp.

Anderson’s ordeal was captured on videotape and that tape the centerpiece of a 40 million dollar lawsuit filed by Anderson’s parents. Attorney Ben Crump says they only wanted to sue the Sheriff’s office and the Department of Juvenile Justice… but a recent ruling by a federal judge forced them to include the seven deputies who can be seen on the videotape.

 “It makes it more complicated. We had sought to keep it very simple and straightforward. If a jury wants to believe what happened on this videotape was wrong, then they are holding the Sheriff’s Department and the Department of Juvenile Justice responsible,” said Crump. “And we didn’t want to have it where we had individual deputies having to point fingers at the sheriff and the sheriff having to point fingers at the deputies. We were hoping to avoid all of that.”
The state attorney from Hillsborough County is also conducting an investigation into Anderson’s death and the deputies could end up facing criminal charges, but it will be several weeks before the inquiry is complete.


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