I had turned on my television for my early morning shot of CNN to see as the Hot Topic: 8 Acquitted of Manslaughter in Bootcamp Case. If you are not familiar with this case, let me update you.
Anger over the verdict was obvious outside the courtroom, where bystanders screamed "murderer" at former guard Henry Dickens as he described his relief at the verdict.
Martin Lee Anderson died a day after being hit and kicked by Dickens and six other guards as a nurse watched, a 30-minute confrontation that drew protests in the state capital and spelled the end of Florida's system of juvenile boot camps.
"I am truly, truly sorry this happened. Myself, I love kids," said Dickens, 60. He added that Anderson "wasn't beaten. Those techniques were taught to us and used for a purpose."
The defendants testified that they followed the rules at a get-tough facility where young offenders often feigned illness to avoid exercise. Their attorneys said that Anderson died not from rough treatment, but from a previously undiagnosed blood disorder.
An initial autopsy by Dr. Charles Siebert, the medical examiner for Bay County, found Anderson died of natural causes from sickle cell trait. A second autopsy was ordered and another doctor concluded that the guards suffocated Anderson through their repeated use of ammonia capsules and by covering his mouth.
The boy's mother, Gina Jones, stormed out of the courtroom. "I cannot see my son no more. Everybody see their family members. It's wrong," she screamed.
"You kill a dog, you go to jail," said her lawyer, Benjamin Crump. "You kill a little black boy and nothing happens." He spoke outside court, which is across the street from the now-closed Bay County boot camp.
Anderson's family repeatedly sat through the painful video as it played during testimony. They had long sought a trial, claiming local officials tried to cover up the case. The conservative Florida Panhandle county is surrounded by military bases and residents are known for their respect for law and order.
The guards, who are white, black and Asian, stood quietly as the judge read the verdicts. The all-white jury was escorted away from the courthouse and did not comment.
Special prosecutor Mark Ober said in a statement he was "extremely disappointed," but added, "In spite of these verdicts, Martin Lee Anderson did not die in vain. This case brought needed attention and reform to our juvenile justice system."
Then-Gov. Jeb Bush had been a strong supporter of the juvenile boot camps, but after Anderson's death he backed the Legislature's move to shut down the system and put more money into a less militaristic program.
Bush appointed Mark Ober, state attorney for Hillsborough County, as special prosecutor in the case. Bush also scolded Tunnell for exchanging e-mails with current Bay County Sheriff Frank McKeithen, in which he criticized those who questioned the effectiveness of the boot camp concept. He also made light of the protesters in the state capital.
Copyright 2007 The Associated Press 10/13/07
Watch the video of the beating and think about it. Not in terms of what happened but substitute your son, daughter, brother, sister, mother or father and allow yourself to let all the people involved off with no responsibility.
If you notice, I highlighted specific words in this article. The key is to read between the lines. I did not add or edit, I just brought to the front what the people involved actually think and feel. I especially like what the attorney had to say on the subject of a seven (7) one (1) woman beating and eventual death of a 14 year old boy; the murdered Martin Lee Anderson, "You kill a dog, you go to jail. You kill a little black boy and nothing happens."
Surprise! Surprise! That was the rule when slavery was the norm in America, it was the norm after slavery and the rise of the Klan, it was the norm during the civil rights movement where dogs and fire hoses were turned on peace Black Protesters of racism, and in 2007 where men can be draged to death, nooses can be hanged in public and government places and Black Children can be beat to death. With statements, sentiments and reality as it is, we might want to re-examine Michael Vick's dog-fighting charges. Seems like he should have gotten a slap on the wrist if dog lives hold a higher value than a black boys.
When Rodney King was beaten by the Los Angles Police department, the results were massive riots, violent and looting in the streets. With this verdict the parents just get money and an agreement to not push the matter beyondthe final decision.
I guess Black people are more civilized and settled in their continued oppression?