Child Dies After Boot Camp Beating
A 14 year old boy, Martin Anderson, violated a probation condition. As a consequence, he was sent to a juvenile-detention boot camp in Florida, where he died. A medical examiner, Dr. Charles Siebert, concluded that Martin died from internal bleeding that Siebert attributed to "sickle cell trait, a disorder that caused his red blood cells to change shape and produce 'a whole cascade of events' that led to hemorrhaging." Siebert inferred that bruises on the boy's body were inflicted during efforts to revive him and were unrelated to his death.
Martin's parents believe that Martin died as the result of a beating inflicted by boot camp guards. The beating was videotaped, and the video establishes that the guards abused Martin, whether or not they killed him.
On the 1-hour, 20-minute tape, which has no sound, as many as nine guards can be seen restraining Anderson. Guards kneed him and wrestled him to the ground, where he was repeatedly struck by one guard, either on his arm or the side of his torso, while he lay still. He was limp throughout most of it and never appeared to offer significant resistance.
The "tough love" philosophy that prevails in many boot camps is nothing more than an excuse to abuse kids. A parent who physically mistreated a kid in this way would be arrested. Our society shouldn't tolerate a double standard at boot camps. The Florida camp, and any others like it, should be shut down.
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