Student leaders, unsatisfied with the lack of progression in the Martin Lee Anderson case, plan to “storm the Capitol on Thursday at 11 a.m.” to demand answers, said Phillip Agnew, Florida A&M University student body president.
The Student Coalition for Justice, which consists of FAMU, Florida State University and Tallahassee Community College students, plans to go as far as necessary to demand that action be taken against the guards involved in Martin’s death.
Martin, 14, who was a detainee at the Bay County Sheriff’s Office Boot Camp, was pronounced dead Jan. 6. Later, a tape surfaced showing four guards beating him the day before.
The first autopsy, performed by Bay County examiner Charles F. Seibert, determined that Martin died from complications with sickle cell trait.
Suspicion surrounding the first autopsy resulted in a second autopsy, which was conducted by New York state police coroner Michael Baden. The second autopsy determined that Anderson died from the guards stuffing ammonia capsules in his mouth, which caused him to suffocate.
On April 21, nearly 3,000 students from FAMU, FSU and TCC marched to the Florida Capitol to demand justice for Martin’s death.
The SCJ met with the Florida Republican gubernatorial candidate, Charlie Crist, over the summer, Agnew said. “He said arrests were coming, and that was around May or June. It’s been 10 months and still no arrests,” Agnew said.
Agnew, 21, a fourth-year business administration student from Chicago, said he believes that Gov. Jeb Bush is trying to prolong the investigation because it is nearing the end of his term and by the time the case is addressed, Bush will not have to deal with the case.
“They are trying to sweep this under the rug,” Agnew said. “At a press conference a couple of weeks ago, they said they won’t be making arrests for at least another six weeks,” Agnew said.
He explained that the storming of the Capitol will be nothing like the march in April.
“Were demanding that something be done and were not leaving until something is done,” Agnew proclaimed.
Agnew said that they are meeting in Clayman Plaza, near the IMAX Theater downtown, at 11 am. There will not be any shuttles, so students need to find a way to get there, he said.
“If you can find a way to get to Baja’s Nightclub, then you can find a way to get there,” Agnew said. He suggested that students carpool and bring their brooms.
“Were accepting no excuses. This is history; bring your broom,” Agnew said. There will be no more sweeping this under the rug,” he said.