This young boy died because boot camps are considered "tough love"

I wanted to post this to The Dope, because I’m not sure how much national attention the issue has received. Please go to this link Martin Lee Anderson: A Life Cut Short and watch the video and read the articles that explain how this troubled young boy lost his life at the hands of vicious boot camp instructors.

I cannot even express the pain that I feel watching and seeing this. I attend school in Tallahassee at Florida State University, and we are trying so hard to bring this issue to everyone’s attention. We are holding rallies and trying to raise funds to pay for this young boy’s family’s legal fees. The lawyers taking the case are great and are doing all they can.

Basically, Martin Lee Anderson was sent to Boot Camp in Panama City (which is sadly where I’m from) because he went joyriding in his grandmother’s car. She did not wish to prosecute, but I’m not sure of the details of that. Upon arriving to Boot Camp, his hair was cut and he became “offender anderson”. Two hours later, he was dead. The video that you will see on that website is 8 minutes long and it shows the horror of Martin’s last minutes. The nurse of the camp just stands by and watches. The Bay County medical examiner reported that he died of complications with sickle cell anemia. His parents disputed that and requested the body to be exhumed and another autopsy done. The second examiner said that Anderson did not die of sickle cell anemia or natural causes, but the results have yet to be released. This was a massive cover up by the medical examiner in Bay County, and the boot camp, to keep the heat off of them. But anyone looking at that video can see that he was beatin beyond anything anyone could comprehend. The second medical examiner said that he was probably brain dead by the time they put him on the stretcher.

I just cannot begin to understand how someone could do this. But this happens ALL THE TIME. This time, it ended fatally.

I don’t even know what to ask the Teeming Millions to do. Here in Florida feathers have just begun to be ruffled. Make noise, write someone. Write the legislators in Florida. They are closing the camp, but the nurse and the officers involved have yet to be arrested.
-A saddened student in Florida who can’t stand the idea that justice may not be served

Actually, here is a good link that gives a little more insight into Anderson’s life and how he ended up at the boot camp. And I was incorrect, he died the next day. Another link

I cannot imagine how anyone could think boot camps are a way to “fix” teenagers in the first place. Boot camps are for training soldiers, not teahcing kids to stop committing petty thefts.

I’m a little baffled. On that site it says over and over that the boy was beaten on videotape yet the one in their link doesn’t seem to have anything I’d call beating. They’re a little rough on his arms when they’re moving him around but I don’t see any punches or kicks. Is there a longer version or am I missing something?

I watched half of the video and then couldn’t stomach any more, but I certainly saw him being beaten. He was clearly punched in the stomach early on, causing him to crumple. One officer kicks him in the ribs. Later, another officer uses his elbows twice to pound the boy in the back while Martin is flat on the ground.

It’s sickening stuff, and the only good thing I can see is that the parents found a decent attorney who helped them obtain a second autopsy. How appalling that the first autopsy completely ignored the significant bleeding behind the boy’s KIDNEYS in the cause of death.

The whole thing just reeks.

Oh, this is just so wrong! I truly hope the people in the video and those in charge here are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. And maybe even that wouldn’t be enough.

I watched the part where he crumpled a few times and I just can’t tell for sure. One officer was blocking the view to see if there was a punch or not. He moves forward suddendly pulling his back leg up then pulls back with his arm bent at the elbow. It’s just too small and blurry and the shot is blocked. At what times do the other things happen? I don’t feel like watching it over and over when I can’t really see most of it anyway.

Needless to say if he died of injuries at this camp everyone involved should be thrown in jail.

It’s all that propaganda about how the military teaches people “discipline”. In reality, it teaches obedience to one’s commander, not discipline; soldiers out from under a superiors thumb have never been known for discipline.

There is also enough evidence at this point to safely conclude that boot camps for behavioral problems are ineffective and more costly than effective programs. This sort of thing sickens me.

Once again, you demonstrate you don’t pay any attention to what’s actually happening. This is a “Sheriff’s” boot camp (though I doubt an actual Sheriff has anything to do with it - probably a county government thing).

Actual Boot Camp is unpleasant, but from everything I’ve ever heard actually not bad. They make you work, but unlike Full Metal Jacket, you don’t have R. Lee Ermy yelling at you. So, at best, it’s nothing more than people choosing to believe a fiction they like.

Excuse me? Anecdotal or not, I’ve never met a more disciplined group than soldiers. They may know how to party, but at the office they’re like granite blocks.

May I suggest that we not let the discussion get sidetracked into a pro- or anti-military one? That does a disservice to the OP, I think; and I’m sure we can find a thread or two that’s covered that subject.


Sickening stuff.

The one thing I could see throwing a serious wrench into any legal action against the “boot camp,” however, is the fact that the kid’s parents probably signed some sort of waiver before sending him. I can’t imagine this boot camp would/could run without covering their asses in some fashion. Shit, my parents had to sign waivers before sending me to Boy Scout camp, and BS camp didn’t involve any planned beatings or forced marches.

Anyone know any facts?

You can’t give someone the right to do something illegal, and if they beat the child to death, that’s illegal. What his parents signed should not have any bearing on criminal charges, should it?


The words “boot camp” are what matter; virtually anyone who hears them will think boot camp = military; that’s the attraction.

If they were disciplined, they’d be under control all the time, not just when they are under a superior’s control. Being controlled is not the same as self control.

I’m not trying to be anti-military ( at the moment ), but anti-mythology. The point I’m making is that Americans have become so infatuated with the military that they can be suckered into something just by giving it a military-sounding label - like “boot camp”. I was just answering RickJay 's question.

I have to question this. While I’ve not been in a boot camp myself, I just recently saw a very well-made three-part documentary on the Military Channel about Marine boot camp at Parris Island, SC, and the drill instructors featured therein made Ermy look like Nuse Nightingale. Now there’s plenty more to the story than the yelling–you see the drill instructors providing support and encouragement, too, as well as very artfully changing their role as the trainees progress through the program.

So it is obviously a lot more complex than we see in Hollywood. And obviously, it’s a completely different animal than these juvenile correction camps. But to say there’s no FMJ-style yelling is not true. They had interviews with many of the trainees, and while most of them expressed a strong desire to stick it out, I think almost all of them would disagree with your “it’s not so bad” characterization.

Yeah, in the middle of it, you can have that attitude. But afterwards, for more people than not (and by a large margin, too), it is worth it.

Even during it. Most of the interviewees said it was the hardest thing they’d ever done AND the most worthwhile practically in the same breath. They were all 100% exhausted and 100% committed at the same time. It’s quite remarkable. Especially when you consider that they’re all volunteers, which wasn’t the case in the 1960’s.
One thing I didn’t realize is that some number of people simply don’t make the cut and are sent home–against their will. I knew you could quit, but it’s really something of a competition to graduate with your class.

Thanks, I was trying to figure it out and I knew (a) those uniforms didn’t look military and (b) the US military wouldn’t take in 14-year-olds and (c) I had never heard of a Panama City military base. Everybody is being so damned vague and saying “boot camp” instead of calling it what it apparently is: Whatever County sheriff training.

I’ve been in military basic training AKA what “boot camp” generally means. For three months I was in a squadron where trainees were moved in and out every day, so I met a lot of trainees and one of them that I can remember was as young as 17. Most others were at least 20, although everyone else was 18 or over. Military instructors are not allowed to touch you, period, unless they clearly and specifically ask you “May I touch you?” And only then if they’re fixing a button on your uniform or your glasses or your hat or something. Sure, they yell, but they don’t (again, not allowed to) curse. Some instructors bend that rule by saying “ass”, “damn” and “shit” (those are the unwritten standard PC swearwords) and they ask the whole flight of trainees whether that’s OK by them, in a light, no-pressure classroom environment, where instructors are usually in a lighter mood and crack jokes and laugh with the trainees. When you leave the classroom, it’s back to always-pissed-off again, but it’s all mental posturing, and military instructors almost never touch any of the trainees in any way. Sure, there are mavericks, but the system is set up such that it’s really difficult for an instructor to be alone with a trainee. There are cameras EVERYWHERE–in my first squadron they showed us the video feeds.

I can’t speak for all branches of the military, as there have been deaths in military training, but military basic training is squeaky clean for the most part.

There’s lots and lots and lots of yelling and pushups, but it actually is not all that bad. Personally, after the first month the instructors were eating out of my hands. You just have to take your lumps and do your shit the way you’re told to do it; I honestly don’t think I’ll ever have an easier job.

Can a mod change the title of this thread to reflect that it refers to sheriff training? I think the current title is very misleading.

Actually, no, you can’t quit–unless you find a legal loophole that voids your obligation with the military, or you can prove that you lied to get in, in which (latter) case you’ll likely never work in the public sector again. You have to either get kicked out or graduate. Now, you can get yourself kicked out, but you certainly can’t quit if you’ve been there more than 72 hours. If you leave after that, you’re considered AWOL and man, if you think you had problems before…

BTW, most of the people who get sent home have injured or re-injured themselves, or developed/aggravated mental illnesses (almost always a bullshit diagnosis, BTW). Most of the remainder proved that they lied about their health or drug use to get in. A few get kicked out for disobedience. And a very, very small proportion gets “kicked out” because they couldn’t pass the physical tests–but they don’t get kicked out for failing once, they start over and try over and over and over again and then they get “kicked out” for six months and then get to try it again (and again and…)

Hope that can help clear some of this stuff up.

It’s been pointed out in other threads that a waiver may make the (potentially) liable party feel better, but it doesn’t actually shield that party from legal action. And, as someone else pointed out in this thread, you can’t waive liability for something that’s illegal.

I’m sorry, but is there even a person in this video? I see a few fuzzy, blurry men in outfits standing next to a wall for a few minutes before loading what looks like a sack of potatoes onto a stretcher. Huh? I expected to see some sort of conclusive, outrage-provoking footage, but the video is of such poor, grainy, fuzzy quality that I can barely even make out that there are people in it. Am I watching the wrong video?