Death by Testosterone
The papers here in Florida are filled with stories about 14 year old Martin Lee Anderson. He was the young man who died following a brutal beating in the Bay Area Boot Camp. Evidently the incident was videotaped so the old Florida State Prison excuse given for the death of Frank Valdez “that he fell out of his bunk” won’t fly here.
There have been calls by legislators for the tape to be made available
and calling for a federal investigation of the youth’s beating by drill
instructors. I concur with them. The tape should be made available and although I feel that the FDLE is
both ethically and technically competent to investigate this incident
it should be turned over to Federal authorities since it has all the
earmarks of a civil rights case.
There is also a call for all the boot camps to be closed. The governor
disagrees but I would feel much better knowing that first of all those
under their supervision are safe and that they demonstrate a benefit.
i.e. statistics showing that the youth are furthering their education
or a lowering the rate of recidivism.
My concern is that there have been accusations of brutality made before
and boot camps have been closed as a result. I would urge the
legislators and parents to first take a close look at the staff.
Severely tailored uniforms and D.I. swagger often are the rule.
However we must remember that this is not Paris Island and these are
not marine recruits. If they were, these instructors would be up for
court martial and when convicted they would be headed straight to
Leavenworth. The United States Marine Corps does not tolerate abuse and
we should have “Zero Tolerance” for the killing or any abuse of
children by boot camp staff.