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Boot Camp Protest Update

October 17th, 2007 by flanews

New developments in the case of a 14-year-old boy who died at the now-closed Bay County Boot Camp last year.  On Friday, a jury found the 7 guards and nurse at the boot camp not guilty in the boy’s death.  Shortly after, student protestors shut down a main intersection near the state Capitol.  As Chris Casquejo tells us, the students are getting what they demanded, a meeting with a federal civil rights officer.

Hear it here: Boot Camp Protest Update

Students from Florida A&M, Florida State and Tallahassee Community College shut down this main intersection near the Capitol on Friday.  The students were unhappy about the “not guilty” verdict at the boot camp trial.  Police convinced them to leave, but not without them asking for something in return.

“We give them one week for the United States Attorney to meet with us,” said Phillip Agnew, who helped organize the protest.

Students were scheduled to meet with a representative from the U.S. Civil Rights Commission Wednesday afternoon.  Florida’s attorney general is also reviewing the case.  Protestors reflected on why the Anderson verdict hit so close to home.

“Next time it could be me.  Next time it could be my brother, my cousin.  It could be someone I know, said James Bland, a FAMU student.  “So until justice is served for Martin Lee Anderson, I don’t feel safe.”

The NAACP plans to rally here at the federal courthouse next Tuesday.  College students say they’ll also be here, making their voices heard once again.  The students are not afraid.

“If we get arrested, we get arrested,” said Bee Desinore, a FAMU student.  “Dr. Martin Luther King didn’t care about, I might die for this cause.  Malcolm X didn’t care about, I might die for this cause.  You just have to sacrifice and do it if you believe in it.”

Some lawmakers support the protestors, while remembering the civil rights movement of the 60s.

“Many changes took place because of what took place on college campuses,” said Sen. Larcenia Bullard.

Students say what they hear at their afternoon meeting will determine their next move.

The state paid Martin Anderson’s parents $5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit before the criminal trial.

Posted in Criminal Justice, Legislature, McCollum, Politics, State News | 5 Comments »

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