TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A group of college students took over the foyer of Gov. Jeb Bush's office Wednesday in a protest calling for arrests in the boot camp beating of a 14-year-old boy who later died.
A special prosecutor is investigating the Jan. 6 death of Martin Lee Anderson, who was beaten, kicked and dragged by guards in a scuffle captured on videotape at a juvenile detention boot camp run by the sheriff of Bay County.
Bush spokeswoman Alia Faraj met briefly with the group of about 30 students at Bush's office and told them the governor was out of town until later in the day. They declined a meeting with Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings, saying they wanted to see Bush, she said.
Faraj said the students were courteous and were welcome to stay until the office closed.
The students, from Florida State University, Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College, also want Bush to apologize to the boy's family for the way the investigation into his death had been handled, and they want the medical examiner who handled the first autopsy removed.
That medical examiner initially determined the boy died from complications of sickle cell trait.
A nationally known pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, observed a second autopsy and said Anderson likely was suffocated during the confrontation.
A lawyer for the Anderson family, Benjamin Crump, said he had talked to the students but did not organize the protest.
"The students are doing what's right," he said. "The family is appreciative."