Unanswered Questions: The Death of Kendrick Johnson
Kendrick Johnson was a 17-year-old African American student who was found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat at his high school in Valdosta, Georgia, on January 11, 2013. His death has since become a controversial case, with many questions surrounding the circumstances of his untimely passing.
The initial investigation into Johnson's death ruled it an accident, stating that he had fallen into the mat while reaching for his shoe and became trapped. However, Johnson's family did not believe this explanation and conducted their own investigation. They found that there were inconsistencies in the official report, such as the fact that Johnson's organs were missing when his body was returned to them, and that the scene of the crime had been altered before the investigation had even begun.
After a thorough investigation by the family, it was discovered that there was a history of racial tension in the school, and many believed that this played a role in Johnson's death. The family believed that he had been murdered, and that the school was covering it up to protect the perpetrators. The family also claimed that the local sheriff's office had intentionally mishandled the investigation, and that there was a cover-up involving law enforcement and school officials.
The family's investigation into Johnson's death gained national attention and led to a petition calling for a federal investigation into the case. The United States Department of Justice launched an investigation, but ultimately closed it in 2016 without filing any charges.
Despite the official ruling of an accident, many still believe that there is more to the story and that Johnson's death was a result of foul play. The case has become a rallying point for advocates of racial justice and has raised concerns about the treatment of minorities in the criminal justice system.
In 2018, a new investigation was launched into the case after the discovery of new evidence. The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office claimed that they had found DNA evidence that linked a pair of shoes to Johnson's death. However, the family disputed these claims, and the investigation was once again closed without any charges being filed.
The death of Kendrick Johnson has remained a controversial case, with many unanswered questions and conflicting accounts of the events surrounding his death. The case has shone a light on the issues of racial bias in the criminal justice system, and has led to increased scrutiny of the way investigations into cases involving minorities are conducted.
In conclusion, the death of Kendrick Johnson is a tragedy that has raised important questions about the treatment of minorities in the criminal justice system. While the official ruling was that his death was an accident, many still believe that there is more to the story and that his death was a result of foul play. The case has become a symbol of the ongoing struggle for racial justice in America, and serves as a reminder of the importance of holding those in power accountable for their actions.
A few References:
"Kendrick Johnson: The Latest on a Mysterious Death at a Georgia High School." The New York Times, The New York Times, 28 Sept. 2018, www.nytimes.com/2018/09/28/us/kendrick-johnson-death-gym-mat.html.
"Kendrick Johnson case: US Attorney's Office to review investigative files." CNN, Cable News Network, 8 Mar. 2015, www.cnn.com/2015/03/08/us/georgia-kendrick-johnson-death/index.html.
"Kendrick Johnson: FBI to investigate Georgia teenager's gym mat death." The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 3 Oct. 2013, www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/31/kendrick-johnson-gym-mat-death-fbi-investigate.