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Marchers From All Over Florida Protest Anderson Verdict

October 23rd, 2007 by flanews

About 700 people from all over Florida marched on Tallahassee to protest the Martin Lee Anderson verdict.  Earlier this month, an all-white Panama City jury acquitted 7 guards and a nurse in the 14-year-old’s death at the now-closed Bay County Boot Camp.  As Chris Casquejo explains, many protestors did not know the teen, but felt a duty to come.

Here it here: Marchers From All Over Florida Protest Anderson Verdict

With purpose in their voices, as many as 700 people marched through the streets of Tallahassee.  Their goal, justice for Martin Lee Anderson.  Gloria Sylvester came with her church from Tampa.

“I do believe in God and I do believe this will be set right,” Sylvester said.

The Florida NAACP organized the march and rally.  Daryl Speaks from Martin County is the state’s youngest chapter president at age 36.  He believes the not guilty verdict was rooted in slow-changing attitudes.

“I call it a sickness when you have hatred for someone,” Speaks said.

Of the hundreds of people that came to march and rally here in Tallahassee, very few of them actually know Martin Lee Anderson, but they say they feel a personal connection.  Daryl Speaks believes one of his three children could have been Anderson.

“I have 3 children myself, so I can understand how it can hit home, he said. “An adult, maybe you can understand.  But a youth?  There is no justice.”

But marchers like Daryl see hope for the future, despite what they see as injustice in the Anderson case.

“The young kids are playing.  The reality is, it’s always going be there.  But it gets a little less each and every time,” he said.

And while time can heal some wounds, many here vow to never forget Martin Lee Anderson and his family.

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

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